Perhaps the most fascinating tie of the weekend sees Kieran McGeeney’s Kildare travel west to face Kevin Walsh’s Sligo side.
Sligo have had two weeks to come to terms with a narrow defeat in the Connacht final against Mayo although the manner of this defeat and the sense that they may have missed a great opportunity will have been hard to deal with. For long periods of that game they looked in control but a strong Mayo finish saw them retain the J.J Nestor cup.
A mixed league campaign saw Sligo remain in Division three but it was their performance in Pearse Stadium where they outclassed a fancied Galway side which really got their season underway. If they can replicate that performance on Saturday evening they may cause a shock.
Kildare have also had to deal with a disappointing defeat having succumbed to Meath in the Leinster semi final. They responded well when they hammered a very poor Cavan side at Breffni Park before scraping over the line last weekend against Limerick.
The crucial thing about this weekend’s game is the experience of Kildare in the qualifiers. Despite never having won a Leinster title under McGeeney, they have regrouped each year and have reached the quarter finals in each of the last four seasons.
The odds for this weekends game reflect Kildare’s excellent record in the qualifiers with them being priced at 3/10 in Boylesports whereas Sligo are available at 7/2 in the same bookmakers.
The handicap price has Kildare -4 priced at 6/5 in Paddy Power and if you fancy Sligo to beat the handicap they are available at 5/6 in Paddy Power.