A quick one this morning - plenty to do before heading West later in advance of tomorrow's clash with the Dubs at McHale Park.
This time the previews favour us (for what it's worth - they went for Cork last weekend), with Setanta, RTE and the Irish Times all plumping for us. Paddy Power even joins in the chorus, making us 8/13 for the win. Hmmm.
There's a good article on tomorrow's match, also in the Irish Times (also premium content, I'm afraid), by the excellent Keith Duggan (a far better sportswriter than the vastly-overrated Tom Humphries, who is not at all excellent), who has been talking with both Johnno and Pillar. Duggan makes the interesting (and fairly valid) observation that Dublin and Mayo are, for different reasons, the two most scrutinised and talked-about counties in the Gaelic football world. Given this, it's not surprising that neither manager is giving too much away about tomorrow's hostilities, which Duggan describes - with some merit - as a rare kind of league game, which will have a once-off championship feel to it.
It'll be tough enough to get a result tomorrow, unless the backs perform far better than they've done of late. While individually competent, as a unit the backs seem to have some kind of glass chin and the Dubs are the boys to exploit such weaknesses. If we lose, it'll be because we've conceded at least three stupid goals (not an impossibility: we conceded four such goals against them in Parnell Park this time last year). However, the Dubs don't like it when the going gets tough - as they showed against Tyrone under the lights at Croker back in February - and if we come at them hard with our running game, we can expect them to buckle. With the large home support (though the Dubs will bring a fair few too), it should be our day.
Also, let's not forget the U21s who take on Galway in the Connacht semi-final later this afternoon in Pearse Stadium. Any meeting between Mayo and Galway is going to be competitive and the fact that our Connacht and All-Ireland crowns are on the line will add some piquancy to the occasion. Another tough one but, hopefully, another win to celebrate.