GAA All-Ireland SFC Quarter-Finals & SHC Semi-Final Tips: Weekend selections for all the action

Galway take aim at another place in the All-Ireland final
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Donnchadh Boyle gives his verdict on both quarter-final games from Croke Park on Saturday, the SHC semi-final on Sunday and Mayo's clash with Roscommon in the SFC Replay...

"Given how well Galway's attack is going, that could be the crucial area of the field. And if the Tribesmen have managed to maintain their momentum across their five week break, they can progress to a third All-Ireland final in six seasons."

Saturday


Armagh v Tyrone

Saturday August 5, Croke Park, 16.00, D Gough (Meath)
Live on Sky Sports Arena

Match odds: Tyrone 2/9 Armagh 5/1 Draw 12/1

Armagh's revival is one of the stories of the Championship. For a team who will play their football in division three next Spring, reaching the last eight is quite an achievement, especially when you consider this run has come off the back of a defeat to arch-rivals Down on the opening day of the Championship.

They are improving and produced their best performance of the year when seeing off a fancied Kildare last time out and the draw against neighbours Tyrone will have only whetted their appetite.

Given the recent history between the counties, it will likely be an emotionally charged affair but it's hard to make a rational argument for Armagh's run continuing. Jamie Clarke has reminded everyone of his incredible talent this summer but Tyrone will be confident they can limit his influence in the same way they managed to push Michael Murphy to the edge of their game.

Kieran McGeeney's men have made big strides this summer but Tyrone are by some way the best team they will have faced. Mickey Harte's men are back-to-back Ulster Champions and having been chinned by Mayo at this stage 12 months ago, should be wary of an ambush.

Only Tyrone to score a goal 15/8

Goalscoring was a problem for Tyrone on the league as they managed just three in seven games, including two in the heavy final day defeat to Kerry. However they have scored three in their last two games in the Championship while the Tyrone defence will be by far the meanest Armagh have come up against this year meaning they might struggle to find the net.

Tyrone to cover handicap -5

Given that Armagh won when the sides last met in the Championship in 2014 and that the score was just 0-13 to 0-10 this might seem a strange call. But that game was played in the much tighter confines of Healy Park and Tyrone have improved hugely since then. They have much more big game experience in Croke Park and have scored 0-22, 1-21 and 2-17 in their three Championship games so far.


Recommended bets

Only Tyrone to score a goal 15/8
Tyrone to cover handicap -5


Dublin v Monaghan

Saturday August 5, Croke Park, 18.00, C Lane (Cork)
Live on Sky Sports Arena

Match odds: Dublin 1/14 Monaghan 9/1 Draw 20/1

Even allowing for the fact that this Monaghan team have produced some of their best performances against Dublin in recent seasons, it's difficult to make a case for them here.
Dublin have cruised to the last eight without being truly tested and while the line of form doesn't do much to bolster the Dubs (Kildare, who caused Jim Gavin's side a number of problems, went down to Armagh) they look like they can find a couple of more gears if required.

Dublin injury updates can be notoriously unreliable but Paul Flynn, Michael Darragh Macauley and Jonny Cooper are all said to be getting back towards fitness and that makes the Monaghan task look all the more daunting.

The Farney men can take heart from the fact that they have gone down by just a point to Dublin in recent league meetings while they were caught on line back in April having been six points up. However, the only recent Championship meeting came back in 2014 and Dublin had 17 points to spare. The Dubs mightn't win by that much, but they should have a bit in hand. Monaghan's wait for the first Championship win over the Dubs will go on.

Jack McCaffrey Man of the Match 12/1

Clontarf man McCaffrey was the game breaker when the sides met in the league in April and it was his late goal that broke Monaghan hearts. He might get more opportunity to attack here than against Kildare if Monaghan set up conservatively and he'll relish that.

Dublin only to score a goal 9/5

Dublin have conceded just one goal in Championship football this year and that came late in the day against Kildare when the Lilies used Paddy Brophy's height advantage over Mick Fitzsimons to secure a late consolation. Monaghan's inside forwards won't enjoy the same edge as Brophy in that regard so we could be looking at a clean sheet for Stephen Cluxton.


Recommended bets

Jack McCaffrey Man of the Match 12/1
Dublin only to score a goal 9/5


Sunday

All-Ireland SHC Semi-Final

Galway v Tipperary

Sunday August 6, Croke Park, 15.30, B Kelly (Westmeath)
Live RTE2 and Sky Sports Arena

Match odds: Galway 10/11 Tipperary 6/5 Draw 9/1

This is a third meeting in as many years at the All-Ireland semi-final stage and there's little to chose between them as both sides have won one of those games each by just single point.

That said the form lines point firmly to a Galway win. They've averaged around 32 points per game in their three Championship outings to date and were much too strong for Tipp in the League Final when they ran out 16 point winners. They haven't put a foot wrong since and were imperious when winning their Leinster title.

However, Micheal Donoghue's men have been idle for five weeks now while Tipp won their All-Ireland quarter final a fortnight ago. They have since decided not to recall All-Star corner back Cathal Barrett to the squad despite the concession of three goals against Clare last time out.

Given how well Galway's attack is going, that could be the crucial area of the field. And if the Tribesmen have managed to maintain their momentum across their five week break, they can progress to a third All-Ireland final in six seasons.

Galway -2 13/10

The talent that exists within Galway hurling is rarely queried but their ability to deliver on it consistently is. However, this side haven't put a foot wrong in about four months now and have a team made up largely of players who have big game experience having played in three All-Ireland finals including replays since 2012. They can deliver here.

First goalscorer for their side John McGrath (Tipperary) 16/5

John McGrath has already found the net four times in Championship and is usually deadly accurate when a chance appears.


Recommended bets

Galway -2 13/10
First goalscorer for their side John McGrath (Tipperary) 16/5


Monday

All-Ireland SFC Quarter-Final Replay (extra time if necessary)

Mayo v Roscommon

Monday August 7, Croke Park, 14.00, A Nolan (Wicklow)
Live on RTE2

Match odds: Mayo 1/2 Roscommon 9/4 Draw 15/2

Huge question marks remain over this Mayo side who were both dominant and dominated at various stages in the drawn game last Sunday.

This is a seventh Championship game in quick succession for a Mayo team that looked tired at times and they could rue all the chances they missed late on to see off Roscommon last weekend.

Still, after the initial Roscommon blitz that yielded 2-2, they could only manage seven points in the last 50 odd minutes, suggesting that they struggled to make any real inroads into the Mayo defence once they settled into it.

The deployment of Lee Keegan will be interesting and after he hit 1-3 in the first half Mayo might be tempted to leave the reigning Footballer of the Year in midfield while Roscommon might try and keep Enda Smith around full forward after his struggles in the middle third.

Mayo will need more from Cillian O'Connor who might have settled it a week ago with one of his late chances while Roscommon are confident that the big game experience will have brought them on no end. They'll also know too that Mayo have lost all three of their recent replays in the Championship.

Based on last weekend, you could make a case for both sides but Mayo have enough credit in the bank to get the nod here.

Three way total points under 35.5 5/6

Last weekend's game was low scoring with both sides struggling to make inroads against well organised defences and it could be similar here.

Anytime goalscorer Lee Keegan 11/2

The Westport man was back to his imperious best last weekend and while he got a little bit of luck with his goal when it was deflected, he's a big part of Mayo's attacking arsenal.


Recommended bets
Three way total points under 35.5 5/6
Anytime goalscorer Lee Keegan 11/2

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