The tipsters tip marginally in our favour this time (I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not). Setanta are agin us, while RTE and the Irish Times (when you finally get to drag them away from the rugby) back us. No preview in the Indo but they have a good article by Martin Breheny on what a dogfight Division 1 is this year. If we win tomorrow, we'll be in good shape for a top four finish, what with relatively easy matches to come against Limerick and Fermanagh before the tough last three outings. However, Donegal are in the same boat, having won their opener and knowing that a win tomorrow gets them half way to safety while a loss will push them back into the dogfight. Having to play four matches away from home doesn't help our cause and, if one was minded to whinge (one isn't but one could easily get on one's high horse with a little encouragement), one could point to the fact that, for the second year running, we have to play Cork away. Why so?
Donegal named their team last night. They've made a few changes from last time, with Paddy Campbell returning at full-back, Neil Gallagher in at midfield and Ryan Bradley coming in at left-corner forward. Here's the team in full:
P Durcan; T Donoghue, P Campbell, K Lacy; E McGee, B Monaghan, B Dunnion; K Cassidy, N Gallagher; C Toye, C Bonner, B Roper; K McMenamin, B Devenney, R Bradley.
It's definitely going to be a tough match and a good test for the lads. Donegal are a decent side, with plenty of talented footballers, and, with home support, they'll be difficult to beat. Away matches in the league are always hard to win but, if we're to keep our Division 1 status for next year, we need to win this one. I know it's still very early in the year to be forming opinions about how we'll fare out in the Summer but I think that tomorrow's result will tell us a bit about our prospects for 2007.