All Ireland SFC Semi-Finals: Favs should oblige but value lies in side markets

Will Padraig Hampsey produce a Man of the Match display on Sunday afternoon
Will Padraig Hampsey produce a Man of the Match display on Sunday afternoon
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Our GAA expert Donnchadh Boyle previews the two All-Ireland SFC Semi-Finals between Kerry and Mayo on Saturday, and Dublin v Tyrone on Sunday, and provides his recommended wagers for you to consider...


"Tyrone will be the best team they have faced this summer by some distance but Jim Gavin's Dublin can take another step towards a third All-Ireland title in a row.

All-Ireland SFC semi-final replay (extra-time if necessary)
Kerry v Mayo
Saturday August 26, Croke Park, 3.0, D Gough (Meath)
Live on RTE1 & Sky Sports Arena


Match odds: Kerry 4/7 Mayo 21/10 Draw 8/1

Coming into the drawn game Kerry had cruised through the championship while Mayo had battled for their lives. And now, having been put to the pin of their collars by the battle-hardened Connacht side, logic states Kerry have more room for improvement and should get the job done this time around.

By installing Kerry as 4/7 favourites, the market seems to agree with that sentiment. However, there has been nothing to chose between these sides in recent years and there are several contributing factors that have to be considered, not least how both managers line out their teams.

It's hard to remember a positional switch prompting as much debate as Aidan O'Shea's move to full back. The arguments have raged all week as to whether the move was worthwhile and all eyes will be on the Breaffy man to see if he trots back to the edge of his own square after contesting the throw-in.

That will likely be the most high-profile move of the day but it will be just one of many that will decide the outcome. Kerry will have to improve defensively this time around and having watched Andy Moran kick 1-5 last weekend, they'll need to find a way to limit his influence after Shane Enright's struggles.

Stephen Rochford faces issues of his own. He chose to keep Paddy Durcan in reserve and he kicked the equaliser late on last week but he'd be in the starting team for probably every other team in the country. They'll need more from Footballer of the Year Lee Keegan and find a way out from under Kerry's high press on David Clarke's kick outs.

Logic points to a Kerry win but this Mayo team tend not to run to script. It will be tight but the Kingdom can prevail.


Anytime scorer Tom Parsons 5/6

An underappreciated cog in the Mayo wheel, Tom Parsons is in top form just now and has put himself firmly in the All Star debate. His mobility can cause problems for anyone and having landed two points in the second half in the drawn game, this looks a good bet.


Kerry to win after extra-time 14/1

This was the case when the teams met three years ago. The replay in Limerick went to extra-time and Kerry eventually edged it. Given how evenly match the teams were last week.


A penalty to be awarded 9/4

No penalties in the drawn game but in tight games penalties seem more frequent.

Recommended Bets

Kerry to win after extra-time 14/1
Anytime scorer Tom Parsons 5/6
A penalty to be awarded 9/4


All-Ireland SFC semi-final
Dublin v Tyrone
Sunday August 27, Croke Park, 4.0, D Coldrick (Meath)
Live RTE2 & Sky Sports Arena


Match Odds: Dublin 1/2 Tyrone 5/2 Draw 8/1

Given the contrast in styles, this is one of the most eagerly anticipated clashes in years. The sides haven't met in championship since 2011 and Tyrone in particular have been reinvigorated since then and they have long thought to be the team that have the tools to cause all-conquering Dublin some real headaches.

With no recent championship clashes, there is only league form to go on and they suggest Sunday will be very tight. Since Jim Gavin took charge for the 2013 season, they have met four times in division one. Dublin and Tyrone have won one game each - both by a point - with the other two clashes ending in a draw. In their most recent meeting in the spring, Tyrone looked to have Dublin on the wrack before Mark Bradley was sent off. With Tyrone down to 14 men, Dublin kicked the last five points of the game to secure a draw.

Tyrone will be much more comfortable in their defensive set-up than anything Dublin have faced in recent times. They have the running power and physicality to cope with Dublin in the way most others don't. Their attacking threat has been held up as this side's weakness but they have looked impressive in that regard so far and have had at least ten different scorers in each of their championship outings so far.

Still, none of that will spook Dublin. They have been around the block and have found an answer to everything that has been thrown at them of late. Tyrone will be the best team they have faced this summer by some distance but Gavin's Dublin can take another step towards a third All-Ireland title in a row.


RTE Man of the match nominations Padraig Hampsey 8/1

Hampsey has been a highly-rated prospect in Tyrone for years but he has burst onto the national stage this term. He has won the match of the match award for his performance against Donegal after his marking job on Michael Murphy while he was also given the award after the Ulster final. A good long range point kicker, he could have a big say in this game.


Dublin to win and both teams to score a goal 9/4

Kildare showed that Dublin can be got at with a running game and there's no one better than Tyrone in that regard while the Dubs' forward power speaks for itself.

Recommended Bets

RTE Man of the match nominations Padraig Hampsey 8/1
Dublin to win and both teams to score a goal 9/4


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