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Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Attacking sensation David Clifford can steer Kerry to winning start

Tyrone worth backing for success

Kerry's David Clifford
1 of 1

All eyes will be on David Clifford, who makes his eagerly-awaited senior debut for Kerry at Fitzgerald Stadium, and he can steer the Kingdom to a winning start on home soil at the expense of a Donegal side who could struggle to retain their Division 1 status. 

Kerry are the league champions and, while there are some familiar faces missing from their starting line-up, the likes of Paul Geaney, Shane Enright, Paul Murphy, Stephen O'Brien and Barry John Keane ensure there is some much-needed experience. 

The Fossa sensation Clifford, who scored 4-4 in last year's All-Ireland minor final against Derry, has been a joy to watch in his short career and he has the size and strength to cope with the physical demands of senior football. 

Whereas Kerry look like a team on an upward curve with so much young talent coming through, Donegal appear to be in decline and a trip to Killarney is not what the doctored ordered. This could be one-way traffic and the hosts are fancied to defy a two-point handicap in style.

Mickey Harte has stayed on with Tyrone and they can start their Division 1 campaign in style with a win over Galway, who are without their Corofin contingent. Tyrone strolled through the Ulster championship last year.

2018 football season preview

Tyrone looked good in the McKenna Cup and Harte has named a strong starting line-up for the trip to Galway with Conal McCann, Niall Sludden, Darren McCurry and Connor McAliskey all included up front. The hosts could struggle to cope with all that talent.

Mayo are notoriously slow-starters in the league so they look worth taking on in their opener away to Monaghan.

Star defender Keith Higgins is set to line out for the hurlers and Monaghan are tough to play on home soil. There could well be a small upset on the cards against last year's All-Ireland finalists. 

The only other wager that appeals on the coupon is Fermanagh, under new manager Rory Gallagher, who should have far too much firepower for a Wexford side which appear to be on a downward spiral. 

Seamus McEnaney has stepped down as manager of Wexford and they looked like serious relegation contenders. Fermanagh will hope for promotion and can start with a wide-margin win in Enniskillen.

Tyrone -2
3pts 11-10 Hills
Kerry -2
3pts Evs BoyleSports
Monaghan -1
2pts 2-1 BoyleSports
Fermanagh -6
2pts Evs Hills

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Whereas Kerry look like a team on an upward curve with so much young talent coming through, Donegal appear to be in decline
E.W. Terms
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