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Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Tyrone can prove themselves to be Dublin's biggest threat

Best bets for Sunday's quarter-finals

Peter Harte has developed into a star for Tyrone
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Donegal v Tyrone
Ballybofey, 3.30pm Sunday
Tyrone should be strong favourites to dump Donegal out of the All-Ireland championship yet they can be backed at odds-against to do so and that is an opportunity which should not be wasted.

When the sides met in the 2017 Ulster championship Tyrone stormed to a 1-21 to 1-12 victory. That was only 12 months ago yet the layers are finding it hard to split the pair in this crunch Super 8s showdown.

Tyrone team looked to come of age when chasing down Dublin in the second half of their most recent encounter in Omagh and had a late free been converted, they would have got within a point of the All-Ireland champions with two minutes still to play.

Donegal did not pose Dublin so many problems when the sides met earlier in the Super 8s.

Richard Donnelly has been a big addition to the Tyrone attack and, with Niall Sludden excelling all season, Tyrone could have too much up front for Donegal.

Mickey Harte will be well aware of the damage Michael Murphy can do, so expect him to come in for special attention. That is something Tyrone have excelled at in recent years.

If Patrick McBrearty has been playing it might be a different story but Donegal are relying too much on the unpredictable Jamie Brennan for scores if Murphy is kept under wraps.

Declan Bonnar’s troops have been performing quite well in McBreaty's absence and had little difficulty in seeing off Roscommon last time.

They were in control from start to finish with the game finishing 0-20 to 0-13 in favour of the Ulster champions. Brennan has blown hot and cold this summer but Murphy continues to produce big performances on a regular basis and was one again the key catalyst in their win over Roscommon.

Donegal have a terrific recent record on home soil in Ballybofey but Tyrone have a greater spread of scorers and can book their ticket to the All-Ireland semi-final in style.

Tyrone -1
4pts 11-8 Betway
Tyrone -3
2pts 5-2 general
Tyrone -6
1pt 13-2 Coral, Ladbrokes
Already advised (May 11)
Tyrone to reach All-Ireland semi-final
3pts 11-10 Paddy Power

Dublin v Roscommon
Croke Park, 3.30pm Sunday
There is nothing for either team to play for in this Super 8 showdown at Croke Park on Sunday but the Dublin players always have places to play for so expect the All-Ireland champions to defy a 12-point handicap with ease.

Given the way Roscommon have played through this campaign, this is likely to be a high-scoring encounter and that will give some under-fire Dublin forwards a chance to shoot the lights out.

Paul Mannion and Con O’Callaghan have been particularly poor this term and both of their starting slots are on the line now that Bernard Brogan is nearing full fitness. 

Dublin will want to enter an All-Ireland semi-final high on confidence and on the back of a big win so the advice is to back Jim Gavin’s men to win by 13 points or more.

Gavin has been given a timely boost with news that Bernard Brogan has almost made a full recovery and could see some game time against Roscommon.

Dublin have won both of their Super 8 games but did not impress everyone with the way they dismantled Tyrone. There are places up for grabs up front for Dublin as their forward unit has not been functioning the way Gavin would like and it would come as no surprise if Paul Flynn was given a slot on the starting team.

Roscommon are pointless after heavy losses to Tyrone and Donegal in their two outings to date. Manager Kevin McStay is currently serving a 12-week touchline ban but he has rung the changes for their final Super 8 outing.

James Featherstone comes into goals in place of Colm Lavin while Peter Domican, Darra Petit and Ross Timothy are also named in Roscommon’s starting line-up. Ciaran Lennon lines out at corner-forward with Fintan Cregg, Sean McDermott, Cathal Compton and Cathal Cregg all missing out.

With Featherstone starting his first outing of the campaign and various changes at the back, Dublin could open up Roscommon and they look great value at odds-against to score three goals or more. This could get very ugly indeed.

Dublin -12
3pts 5-6 Hills 
Dublin over 2.5 goals
2pts 11-10 Paddy Power

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Donegal have a terrific recent record on home soil in Ballybofey but Tyrone have a greater spread of scorers
E.W. Terms
Sky bet