This weekend sees the beginning of Round 4 in the Allianz Football Leagues. Dublin head into this fixture having yet to taste defeat, although they came very close when they drew with Monaghan two weeks ago and powered through the storm. Donegal are on the back of their first defeat of the Allianz League when they lost 2-8 to 2-7 in Letterkenny also two weeks ago.
Dessie Farrell and his men currently sit top in Division 1 grabbing 4 points from their opening 3 games. Draws against Kerry and Monaghan have meant Dublin have dropped 2 points thus far. The only win being in Castlebar in another stormy night when they won 1-11 to 0-8.
Dublin will look to improve upon their most recent performance as it is fair to say the boys in blue defence was the reason for a lot of scores that came against them. From a Monaghan perspective it seemed as though it did not take much for themselves to break through what was a sluggish Dublin defence.
The Dubs have yet to pick up a win at Croke Park this season and if they were to win this Saturday it would set them up well for their final 3 games.
So far this year it has seemed as though Dessie has liked the look of youngster Sean Bugler. Bugler picked up 0-3 from coming off the bench which was crucial towards the outcome. We also saw other youngsters like Aaron Byrne, Colm Basquel, Dan O’Brien, Liam Flatman and Dara Mullin be included in what was a treacherous draw. It is likely we will see these men included again when Dublin come up against Ulster champions Donegal.
As previously described, Donegal have won one drawn one and lost one so far in this years Allianz League campaign. Donegal began the campaign with a draw at home to Mayo before beating Meath in Navan by a massive 10 points. Most recently losing to Galway in what was a poor performance from the Ulster outlet.
Donegal currently lie 4th in the league 1 point off Dublin. Tyrone and Galway. They are also level on points with Monaghan, Kerry and Mayo who are currently in the relegation zone. It is fair to say it is still early enough in this campaign as we can tell from the openness across the table.
Donegal are renown for being a very defensive side that use a ‘blanket defence’ to try their best from the opposition getting a free-flowing style of play.
Michael Murphy put on a good performance for Donegal scoring 1-3 against Galway and will hope to pose problems for Dublin’s defence.
Evan Comeford will more than likely take his place in between the sticks on Saturday night. Evan has done well so far pulling out good performances in the opening 3 games. With Stephen Cluxton said to be eligible from March it might give Dessie some food for thought as it could be a difficult predicament as Dublin have 2 games in March.
After Saturday, 3 games remain in this year’s Allianz League.
Dublin will host Donegal this Saturday (February 22) at 19.00.