Tyrone to prove they are the top dogs in Ulster
Monaghan look poor value
Tyrone v Monaghan
Healy Park, 4pm Sunday
Tyrone are the top dogs in Ulster and they can confirm their status as the provincial kingpins with an emphatic home success.
Apart from a demolition job by Dublin, Tyrone's 2017 championship campaign brought an 11-point win over Derry (0-22 to 0-11), a nine-point win over Donegal (1-21 to 1-12), an eight-point win over Down (2-17 to 0-15) and an 18-point win over Armagh (3-17 to 0-8).
They scored an average of 21.25 points in those four games and conceded an average of just 12.25 per game. After a shaky start when Mickey Harte was experimenting, Tyrone finished their league campaign with three straight wins against Donegal (2-13 to 1-10), Mayo (2-14 to 0-8) and Kerry (1-16 to 0-14).
Their five-point defeat of the Kingdom, despite Ronan O'Neill missing a penalty, was their first over Kerry in eight years. It was a monkey off their backs and teed them up perfectly for the summer ahead.
Monaghan’s price for this tie collapsed after their shock win over Dublin in the final round of group games of the league but the Dubs were already safely through to the decider so it was a bit of a nothing encounter.
Malachy O’Rourke continues to pick from a small pool of players and the majority of his starting 15 for the trip to Omagh were in the starting line-up for his first game at the helm. Much will again depend on how effective Conor McManus is up front and the visitors will need a big game from Jack McCarron.
This Tyrone team has a well-balanced look to it and Mickey Harte finally seems to have found a cracking crop of forwards.
There is a theory there that Tyrone don’t score enough but, apart from Dublin, they scored the most goals of any side in Division 1 of the league, getting two against Donegal and Mayo. With home advantage, Tyrone can defy a one-point handicap.
4pts 10-11 BoyleSports
Tyrone over 1.5 goals
1pt 12-5 BoyleSports
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