Things are heating up nicely in the Allianz Football League and here we take a look at all of this weekend’s fifth round games down for decision…
Saturday, February 29th
FL Division 1 round 5
Mayo v Kerry, MacHale Park, 7.15pm - eir Sport/RTE2
Holders Mayo welcome Kerry to Castlebar where the hosts are in sore need of points to lift themselves away from the Division 1 relegation zone.
These two sides met twice in last year’s competition, with the Westerners winning on both occasions but it was Kerry that scored a convincing 1-22 to 0-15 victory over them on the last occasion in last summer’s Super 8s.
The bookies have the Kingdom as 4/7 favourites to claim the points and it promises to be an intriguing battle with plenty at stake at MacHale Park.
Like Mayo, the Munster champions still have a few more aces to come back into their pack and, going on form, look the likeliest to get the job done on the road on Saturday night.
Tyrone v Dublin, Healy Park 7.15pm - eir Sport
The All-Ireland champions head for Omagh on Saturday looking to make it two wins out of two over Ulster opposition.
The Dubs clung on for their second win of the campaign against Donegal in the end last weekend and travel north looking to try and leapfrog Galway who lead Division 1 on score difference.
Tyrone beat Dublin (1-14 to 1-11) when the two sides met in last year’s league clash at Croke Park and are 3/1 outsiders against the capital men here.
If the Red Hands are to repeat the trick on this occasion they’ll have to do so without ace attacker Cathal McShane after the luckless Owen Roes clubman dislocated his ankle in last weekend’s 19-point hammering by Galway.
FL Division 2 round 5
Laois v Kildare, MW Hire O'Moore Park, 7pm
These two meet in the league for the first time since 2015 when Kildare won out by three points in a Division 2 clash.
The Lilywhites’ form thus far in this campaign doesn’t suggest a repeat of that result in Portlaoise on Saturday night as Jack O’Connor’s men have lost three of their four outings.
Laois bounced back from their loss to Cavan by edging out Clare by a point and you get the feeling the O’Moore men will need a more solid performance despite their opponents’ recent struggles.
FL Division 4 round 5
London v Wicklow, Ruislip, 1pm
Wicklow head across the water this weekend looking for their third win of the campaign and are fancied here to do so against a winless London outfit.
Wexford v Sligo, Chadwicks Wexford Park, 2pm
Sligo got stunned by Waterford last time out and face a tough game to try and bounce back in travelling to take on Paul Galvin’s promotion-chasing Wexford side.
Waterford v Carlow, Fraher Field, 7pm
Waterford tore up the script against Sligo in Round 4 and will look to do the same when Turlough O’Brien’s Barrowsiders pay them a visit.
Sunday, March 1st
FL Division 1 round 5
Donegal v Monaghan, Ballyshannon, 2pm
This Ulster derby comes to Ballyshannon as Monaghan look to keep up their recent impressive league form against Donegal.
The Farney men lost out by a point to Galway in the first round but have since picked up five points in three games.
The Ulster champions, on the other hand, have lost their last two games by a point against Galway and Dublin, respectively, and currently sit third from bottom in the Division 1 table.
Nonetheless, the bookmakers still make the Tir Conaill men 4/6 favourites for this one and, with Paddy McBrearty back in their pack, they get the nod to edge it.
Meath v Galway, Pairc Tailteann, 2.30pm
Galway are flying-high at the top of Division 1 four rounds in and head for Navan this weekend as 2/5 favourites on merit.
Four successive defeats mean that a depleted Meath side are now in real danger of returning to Division 2 and should they lose to the Tribesmen and Mayo and Donegal win their games, then relegation will be official for Andy McEntee’s men.
The Royals are coming up against a Galway side whose 7-58 tally is the highest in the division after four outings, with marksman Shane Walsh arguably in the form of his life after being handed the captaincy by Padraic Joyce at the start of the season.
The last league meeting between these two was in Division 2 back in 2017 when Meath grinded out a 1-13 to 0-15 win at Pairc Taiteann and the home side would certainly take that winning margin before throw-in on Sunday afternoon.
FL Division 2 round 5
Fermanagh v Armagh, Brewster Park, 2pm
Another Ulster derby comes to Enniskillen on Sunday with Armagh looking to overcome hosts Fermanagh and keep the heat on Cavan at the top of Division 2.
The Orchard men let an eight point lead slip against Westmeath the last day, costing them a precious point, and they face into another potentially tricky battle against Ryan McMenamin’s charges.
Armagh won the league meeting between these two last year by 1-9 to 0-6 but, with home advantage in their favour, the Ernesiders are likely to keep that margin a lot closer at Brewster Park this weekend.
Roscommon v Westmeath, Dr Hyde Park, 2pm
This one could have a major bearing on the promotion race as Westmeath attempt to go from Divisions 3 to 1 in successive seasons.
Along with Laois and Armagh, these two are locked on five points after four games and the winners at ‘the Hyde’ on Sunday will be right in the mix for Division 1 football next year with two rounds remaining.
Their last league meeting back in 2015 saw the Rossies win out by 2-13 to 0-12 and, with home advantage, Anthony Cunningham’s men will certainly fancy their chances of the same outcome in Round 5.
Cavan v Clare, Kingspan Breffni, 2.30pm
A win against Clare on Sunday will put Cavan in pole position for promotion back to Division 1 with two rounds remaining.
Mickey Graham’s side are 2/5 favourites against the Banner men this weekend but what’s better news for Breffni fans is that they’ve got bodies back and are now operating with a clean bill of health with regards to their squad.
Clare head north in dire need of points as a fourth defeat would leave relegation looming large and are certainly capable to pulling off an upset against the in-form hosts.
FL Division 3 round 5
Louth v Leitrim, Dowdallshill, 2pm
Dowdallshill hosts a battle at the bottom of Division 3 and points will be paramount when these two cross swords.
When they last met it was Leitrim that beat Louth by a point in the league back in 2016 and the losers in this one will be hot favourites to return to the basement two rounds remaining.
Cork v Derry, Pairc Ui Chaoimh, 2pm
Should Cork beat Derry at Pairc Ui Chaoimh on Sunday and results elsewhere go their way they could clinch promotion back to Division 2 with two games left.
Along with Longford, Offaly and Down, the Oak Leafers are the Rebels’ closest pursuers on five points and would take a huge stride towards promotion if they were able to shred the script here.
Longford v Tipperary, Glennon Bros Pearse Park, 2.30pm
Longford welcome Tipperary on Sunday in their bid to try and earn promotion and are set to line-up against an opposition that are now just above the relegation places.
The last league meeting between these two was in 2017 when Tipp won by 3-17 to 0-18, but the formbook suggests a different outcome this time round.
Offaly v Down, O'Connor Park, 2.30pm
The losers here are set to slip out of the promotion race with two rounds to go so the stakes couldn’t be much higher for Offaly and Down in Tullamore this time of year.
The bookies make Down slight favourites for the trip to the Midlands, suggesting that this one could well go down to the wire at O’Connor Park.
FL Division 4 round 5
Antrim v Limerick, Portglenone, 2pm
Billy Lee’s Limerick side are undoubtedly the in-form team in this division with four wins from as many outings, but are potentially facing into their biggest test of the campaign to date by journeying to Portglenone to take on Antrim.
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