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Saturday, 19 January, 2019

Tyrone to keep hopes of league glory alive

Kerry look to have the measure of Cavan

Tyrone's Cathal McCarron advances under pressure
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Tyrone's trek towards the Division 1 decider encountered a few potholes in Ballybofey last weekend when they suffered a 0-12 to 0-6 loss to Donegal but they can get back on the right road at home with a win over Mayo. 

Tyrone were unbeaten before their Donegal defeat, looking the most polished side in the division on the way to collecting seven points from a possible eight.

They never came out of the traps at all in Ballybofey, though. Expect to see a different Tyrone side and a wager on them to beat Mayo by two points or more is advised.

The pace of Niall Sludden and Peter Harte in the half-forward line has the potential to cut Mayo wide open. They were badly exposed against a poor Cavan team last Sunday and, when teams run at Mayo, they tend to crumble. Mark Bradley, Mattie Donnelly and the evergreen Sean Cavanagh also have to potential to kick points from distance, something that could prove paramount should the visitors pack their defence.

Mayo were extremely poor on home soil last Sunday. Once Cavan netted on the stroke of half-time they always looked in deep trouble. Mayo do not possess enough quality forwards to seriously damage a top team and that lack of attacking prowess could be exposed once again.

This could be a low-scoring affair but Tyrone have the tools to come out on top and could do so quite comfortably. They won't need any motivation given that Mayo knocked them out of the All-Ireland at the quarter-final stage last autumn. Odds of 10-11 about Mayo scoring 13 or fewer points looks a safe play too.

Cavan will come into today's tussle with Kerry high on confidence after their shock success over Mayo but they could be brought down to earth with a bang by the Kingdom and backing the hosts not to reach 15 points is one of the best bets of the day.

Cavan may have scored 1-14 in their win over Mayo, but they only got 1-9 against Tyrone, 0-11 against Donegal, 0-7 against Monaghan and 0-11 against Dublin. Their system is based on a solid defence and it is very hard to envisage them racking up a big tally.

Kerry really should have put Dublin away last Saturday and they only have themselves to blame. But, they came away from that tussle with a point, and have improved throughout the campaign. The Kingdom are operating at a completely different level to Cavan and that could show today.

Monaghan have arguably been the surprise packages in Division 1 with seven points already on the board and they looked overpriced to dispose of Donegal in Ballybofey. There is not a great deal between the sides, both are playing well and high on confidence, but Monaghan might have more reliable scoring forwards and that could make the difference. They don't deserve to be such a big price on current form.

No team in any division have been as unpredictable as Meath but surely after beating Galway and drawing with Cork they can continue their upward curve with a home win over Fermanagh. Andy McEntee is slowly getting things right with the Royals and this is a game they ought to win to keep their slim hopes of promotion alive.

Tyrone -1
3pts 11-10 Paddy Power
Under 13.5 Mayo points
1pt 10-11 Paddy Power
Under 14.5 Cavan points
3pts 8-11 Paddy Power
1pt 11-5 Coral, Ladbrokes
Meath -2
2pts Evs BoyleSports

The pace of Niall Sludden and Peter Harte in the half-forward line has the potential to cut Mayo wide open
E.W. Terms
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