FL previews: Action heats up in Round 4…

February 21, 2020

More bad weather conditions are predicted for this weekend. ©INPHO/Presseye/John McVitty.

This weekend sees 16 games taking place in Round 4 of the Allianz Football League and here we preview each and every one of them…


Saturday, February 22nd

FL Division 1 round 4

Dublin v Donegal, Croke Park, 7pm - eir Sport

Donegal are Croker bound this weekend as they look to hand Dessie Farrell’s Dublin their first defeat of the Division 1 campaign.

The All-Ireland champions turned around a 10-point deficit to snatch a dramatic draw against Monaghan last time out and will no doubt be looking for a better start when Declan Bonner’s men come to visit them at headquarters.

Round 3 saw a late Galway comeback foil the Ulster champions’ bid for a second win in this competition and how they’d love bounce back emphatically against the Dubs.

The capital men are expected to have a couple more regulars available for this one, including full-back Jonny Cooper, while on the opposite end Paddy McBrearty looks set to see his first bit of game time for Donegal this year. 

Verdict: Dublin

FL Division 2 round 4

Fermanagh v Cavan, Brewster Park, 7pm

Cavan blew the race in Division 2 wide open last Sunday by handing high-flying Laois a 10-point defeat at O’Moore Park and they head for Enniskillen this weekend looking for their third win on the bounce.

The Blues are favourites for the short trip across the border, but only just, as Fermanagh have a knack of grinding out results at Brewster Park this time of year.

The Erne men went down to Westmeath narrowly last time out and will have another battle on their hands going by the evidence in Portlaoise last weekend.

Verdict: Cavan

FL Division 3 round 4

Down v Longford, Pairc Esler, 7pm

Down boss Paddy Tally has cited this one as “an absolutely vital game” for his team in the race for promotion from Division 3.

Longford make the trip north with two more points on the table than their Mourne counterparts and it promises to be an intriguing battle once the ball’s throw in at 7pm in Pairc Esler.

Verdict: Down

Tipperary v Cork, Semple Stadium, 7pm

Tipperary have edged recent league meetings between these two, but it’s Cork that head for Thurles this weekend as 2/7 favourites to pick up their fourth win on the bounce.

The Rebels put up 0-16 on Down in Round 3 and it’s hard to see Tipp’s defence holding them to much less than that over the 70 minutes at Semple Stadium.

Verdict: Cork

FL Division 4 round 4

Sligo v Waterford, Markievicz Park, 2pm

Sligo’s promotion bid was dealt a set-back by Wicklow last weekend but the Yeats men should get it back on track when Waterford visit them for the early throw-in on Saturday.

Verdict: Sligo


Sunday, February 23rd

FL Division 1 round 4

Kerry v Meath, Fitzgerald Stadium, 1pm

Meath journey to Killarney for Round 4 in search of their first win of the league campaign and, arguably, couldn’t be meeting Kerry at a worse time.

The Munster champions went down to Tyrone in controversial circumstances in Edendork, where David Clifford’s late sending off became a major talking point afterwards.

One would imagine the Kingdom’s young captain won’t require much incentive to step out on to the pitch at Fitzgerald Stadium this Sunday afternoon and try and help steer his team to their second win of the campaign.

As for Meath, they’ve it all to do at Fitzgerald Stadium as 11/2 outsiders and, while they’re certainly capable of pulling off the upset, it’s hard to envision it with so many regulars missing from their pack at the present.

Verdict: Kerry

Galway v Tyrone, Tuam Stadium, 2pm - Live coverage on TG4

When these two met last year in Omagh, it was Tyrone that turned in a superb second-half which saw them hitting three goals in a 14-point swing against the Tribesmen.

It finished 3-15 to 1-14 in favour of the Red Hands and Mickey Harte and his players would certainly take that result come the final whistle at Tuam Stadium on Sunday afternoon. 

The winner of this one will be right in the hunt for a league final place with three rounds remaining and, with home advantage in their favour, the bookies are calling this one in favour of Galway.

Padraic Joyce has said he has been pleased by his team’s start to the campaign and this weekend brings another huge challenge for his charges.

Verdict: Galway

Monaghan v Mayo, Clones, 2pm - Deferred coverage on TG4

Holders Mayo grinded out their first win of the competition a fortnight ago when they saw off Meath late on in Navan and now another trip to the north east beckons for James Horan’s men.

In their way stand an in-form Monaghan outfit in Clones, where the home side will be looking for both points after letting one slip away against Dublin in Round 3.

A 10-point lead wasn’t enough against the All-Ireland champions at Croke Park but similar shooting form from Farney talisman man Conor McManus would have Mayo in a world of trouble at St Tiernach’s Park.

With points becoming more and more paramount, this one could well go down to the wire.

Verdict: Draw

FL Division 2 round 4

Clare v Laois, Cusack Park, 2pm

High-flying Laois were dealt a rude awakening by Cavan last weekend and must now pick themselves up for what is a potentially tricky assignment against Clare in Ennis.

The Banner men fell to Roscommon by seven in their last outing but will hold no fears of welcoming the O’Moore County, having shocked Kildare in their last home fixture.

Laois boss Micheál Quirke will want a response from his players after falling by 10 points to the Breffni men on their own home turf and are set to be made battle for the points here.

Verdict: Laois

Westmeath v Armagh, TEG Cusack Park, 2pm

These two bounced back with victories in Round 3 and now get set to face off in Mullingar on Sunday afternoon.

Armagh put forth a clinical first-half display to blow away Kildare at the Athletic Grounds last time out and travel to the midlands as 2/5 favourites.

Jack Cooney and his Westmeath players will no doubt welcome their underdogs’ status and look to make home advantage count when the Orchard men pay them a visit this weekend.

Verdict: Armagh

Kildare v Roscommon, Newbridge, 2.30pm

One would feel that Kildare are in need of points fast if they are to mount a promotion bid and Sunday sees them with a stiff test in the form of Roscommon.

The Rossies conceded just four points to Clare last time out and many will fancy them this weekend as they travel across to Newbridge as 6/4 underdogs.

Anthony Cunningham has described this one as “a massive match” for his side and it looks a tight one to call from every angle.

Verdict: Draw

FL Division 3 round 4

Derry v Louth, Celtic Park, 2pm

Louth journey to Derry looking for their first points of the league campaign against a home side which has shown fairly mixed form to date.

The Oak Leafers braved brutal conditions at Celtic Park to grind out a four-point victory over Tipperary in Round 3 and look like making it back-to-back wins here.

Verdict: Derry

Leitrim v Offaly, Pairc Sean MacDiarmada, 2pm

Defeat for Leitrim here would leave Terry Hyland’s charges in some relegation bother and also see Offaly pull four points clear of them in the table.

The Faithful men are heading for Carrick-on-Shannon as 4/7 favourites and are fancied to justify those odds against the hosts.

Verdict: Offaly

FL Division 4 round 4

Wexford v London, Chadwicks Wexford Park, 12pm

London sit bottom of Division 4 with a worse score difference than Waterford three rounds in and don’t look like denying Paul Galvin’s Wexford their third consecutive win.

Verdict: Wexford

Limerick v Wicklow, Rathkeale, 2pm

Limerick will have a 100 per cent record to try and maintain when Wicklow visit Mick Neville Park on Sunday and it should be an intriguing encounter in Rathkeale, where the visitors will be looking to back up last weekend’s win over Sligo.

Verdict: Limerick

Antrim v Carlow, Glenavy, 2.30pm

Antrim need to keep the points coming if they are to put pressure on the likes of Limerick, Wicklow and Sligo above them and should have enough to see off the Barrowsiders on their own patch.

Verdict: Antrim


A double line-up of Allianz Football and Hurling League fixtures this weekend. Follow the hoganstand.com match tracker for live updates on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.

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