After a gripping draw two weeks ago, Dublin and Kerry must do it all over again. Each side will have learned a lot about both themselves and their opposition following the first game, and another epic encounter awaits.
Dublin are hunting an unprecedented fifth All-Ireland title in succession, while Kerry are looking to spoil the party and stretch even further ahead in the roll of honour by winning a 38th title.
Kerry’s belief will have soared
Coming into the drawn game, it was clear that Kerry are an emerging team. However, the common consensus was that beating Dublin in an All-Ireland final was too great an ask at this point for the young side.
However, they proved to their doubters and maybe even to themselves that they already belong at this level, and came within inches of toppling the ‘drive for five’.
Ahead of the replay, the landscape is completely different. Peter Keane’s side showed what they are made of, and aren’t coming to Jones’ Road on Saturday evening to make up the numbers.
Does Jim Gavin trust his bench?
Behind the four All-Ireland titles in a row to date, Dublin’s depth has been the root of their success. The Sky Blues have consistently finished games strongly to see off the opposition.
However, as Kerry came roaring back at them two weeks ago, Jim Gavin was hesitant to utilise his subs.
Paddy Small and Eoin Murchan were introduced in the 53rd and 58th minutes respectively, and Round Towers man Gavin didn’t use his third sub until the 68th minute, despite Kerry having all the momentum in that period.
Was that a sign that Dublin no longer boast the same strength in depth? Or will Gavin turn to his bench sooner on Saturday?
Will Tommy Walsh start?
The Kerins O’Rahilly’s man was sprung as a second-half sub in the drawn game, and swung the tie in Kerry’s favour – kicking a point and playing a crucial role in Killian Spillane’s goal.
Many are predicting he will remain as an ‘impact sub’, but could Keane be tempted to throw him in from the start?
His aerial prowess is a deadly weapon, and he would ask questions of the Dublin defence.
Gavin will be kept guessing until shortly before throw-in.
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Where must they improve?
Discipline is the name of the game for Dublin
Leading by five points in the first half last time out, Dublin seemed to be motoring nicely. However, Jonny Cooper’s dismissal handed Kerry a lifeline, and they fought their way back into the tie.
Avoiding the attention of referee Conor Lane will be paramount for the Dublin backs.
Kerry need to be more ruthless in front of goal
Before Killian Spillane beat Cluxton in the second half, Kerry saw four genuine goal chances go to waste. Paul Geaney (twice), Stephen O’Brian and Paul Murphy all had opportunities to raise a green flag, but Dublin weren’t punished.
If the Kingdom are presented with such chances again, they will need to be clinical.
Brian Fenton (Dublin)
The Dublin engine room never got motoring two weeks ago, and this led to Kerry gaining a real foothold in the game. Reigning Footballer of the Year Fenton was kept quiet, and this affected the Dubs’ ability to move the ball up the field.
The Raheny man will be gunning to set the record straight, and have more of an impact on the tie.
David Clifford (Kerry)
The Fossa man drew a penalty and red card, while also kicking two points in the drawn game, but many felt he still had a quiet game by his own lofty standards.