The hectic Allianz Football League programme continues next weekend, with Round 3 games across all four Allianz Football League Divisions, after which there will be a two-week break before Round 4. All venues and times referred to below are subject to confirmation.
ALLIANZ FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION 1: DUBLIN, GALWAY, KERRY MAKE IMPRESSIVE STARTS
Saturday (7.0): Dublin v Donegal, Croke Park.
Sunday (2.0): Galway v Mayo, Pearse Stadium; Kildare v Tyrone, Newbridge; Monaghan v Kerry, Iniskeen.
Dublin, Galway and Kerry are all on full points after the first two rounds, while Tyrone, Kildare and Donegal have yet to pick up a point. Mayo and Monaghan are in between, with one win each from two games.
Dublin (v Donegal) and Galway (v Mayo) will be at home next weekend while Kerry will be away to Monaghan. Dublin (1-8) and Donegal (2-5) drew in last year’s Allianz League, while Jim Gavin’s men won the previous three Allianz League clashes between the counties in 2016 (Round 6 and semi-final) and 2015.
Donegal’s last win over Dublin in a competitive game was in the 2014 All-Ireland semi-final (3-14 to 0-17). Donegal were very unlucky in their opening two games, losing by a point to both Kerry and Galway.
Galway, who returned to the Football League Division 1 for the first time since 2011 this year, have made a great start, beating Tyrone and Donegal in the opening two rounds.
Next up are their great rivals, Mayo, whom they meet in the League for the first time in seven years. Mayo beat Galway in five successive championship games in 2011-2015 but Galway have won the last two, the most recent coming last June when they edged to a one-point win in the Connacht semi-final in Pearse Stadium.
Kerry and Monaghan have met five times in the League in the last eight years, with the Kingdom winning three to Monaghan’s two. Monaghan’s two wins came last year (2-8 to 1-10) and 2015 (1-11 to 0-10) while Kerry were successful in 2016-2011-2010.
Bottom pair (on scoring difference behind Donegal), Kildare and Tyrone meet in Newbridge in what will be their first League meeting since 2014 when Mickey Harte’s men won by 3-16 to 1-21 in St.Conleth’s Park.
Both Kildare and Tyrone have lost their last four Allianz League games. Kildare lost twice to Galway in Division 2 (Round 7 and final) last season and to Dublin and Monaghan this year.
Tyrone lost their last two Allianz Football Division 1 games to Mayo and Kerry in 2017 and to Galway and Dublin this year.
FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION 2: CAVAN AND MEATH IN TABLE-TOPPERS’ CLASH
Saturday (7.0): Cavan v Meath, Kingspan Breffni Park.
Sunday (2.0): Clare v Tipperary, Ennis; Cork v Louth, Pairc Ui Rinn; Roscommon v Down, Dr. Hyde Park.
This was always going to be a very closely-contested group and so it’s proving. There are no teams on full points after two rounds while Louth are the only ones still waiting to pick up any points. The leaders (on scoring difference) meet on Saturday night when Cavan host Meath in what will be one of the most interesting contests across all four Allianz Football Divisions.
They last met in the Allianz Football League Division 2 in 2016 when Cavan came from behind to win by seven points in what was a major success in their successful drive towards Division 1. Meath won the 2015 clash by two points.
Cavan dropped down from Football Division 1 this year while Meath are attempting to return to Allianz Football Division 1 for the first time since 2006.
Like Meath and Cavan, Roscommon are also on three points as they prepare to host Down, who have won one of two.
Down have an identical scoring and concession rate (1-24 each) after games against Louth and Cork while Roscommon scored 3-29 while conceding 5-21 when drawing with Meath and beating Tipperary.
Roscommon have won their last three Allianz League meetings with Down (2016 in Division 1 and 2015 in Division 2 – Round 2 and final).
Cork host Louth on Sunday, having got their promotion bid off to a start at the second attempt when beating Down. Louth, who were promoted from Allianz Football Division 3 this year, are finding life in the higher group difficult, having lost their first two games. They are the only county in the top three Football Divisions not to have scored a goal yet.
Clare, who host Tipperary, will be hoping for a change in fortunes after losing their last five Allianz League games to their neighbours over the last five years. They last met in 2016 when Tipperary won a Football Division 3 game by three points.
FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION 3: TOP TWO CLASH IN THE ATHLETIC GROUNDS
Sunday (2.0): Armagh v Longford, Athletic Grounds; Derry v Offaly, Celtic Park; Sligo v Fermanagh, Markievicz Park; Wexford v Westmeath, Innovate Wexford Park.
Armagh (+23), Longford (+18) and Fermanagh (+13) have all won their opening two games, while Wexford, Derry and Offaly have yet to pick up a point. Sligo and Westmeath have one win each.
The top two – Armagh and Longford - clash in the Athletic Grounds next Sunday, where the winners will take a big step towards the promotion prizes. They meet for a second successive year, with Armagh having won a thrilling contest (3-11 to 2-9) in Round 3 last year.
Fermanagh, who are also going well in their attempt to return to Allianz Football Division 2 at the first attempt, head for Markievicz Park to take on a Sligo team that got off the mark with a three-point win over Wexford last Sunday. Fermanagh and Sligo last met in the League in 2015 (Allianz Football Division 3) when Fermanagh won by two points.
Derry, who dropped down from the Allianz Football League Division 2 this year, were expected to be among the promotion favourites but have made a bad start, losing their first two games to Westmeath and Longford by a combined total of ten points. They host Offaly, who have also lost their opening two games.
Battling against relegation to the Allianz Football League Division 4 is a far cry from the lofty status this pair enjoyed 20 years ago when they met in the Division 1 final which Offaly won. Derry went on to win the Allianz Football League Division 1 title in 2000 and 2007 but are now in danger of dropping to Division 4.
Wexford and Westmeath meet in the Allianz Leagues for the third time in less than a year. Westmeath won both Division 4 last season. They had a 24-point win in Round 6 and, after both earned promotion, they won the final by 13 points in Croke Park.
FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION 4: THREE PROMOTION FAVOURITES ENJOY 100% STARTS
Saturday: Carlow v Leitrim, Netwatch Cullen Park (5.0); Laois v Waterford, O’Moore Park (7.0).
Sunday: London v Limerick, McGovern Park, Ruislip (1.0); Antrim v Wicklow, Corrigan Park, Belfast (2.0).
Laois, Antrim and Carlow started the campaign as the three favourites to contest the two promotion places and, so far at least, the form book has held up. All three won their opening two games, leaving them separated only by scoring difference, with Antrim leading the way on +18 points, followed by Laois +15 and Carlow +8.
All three will have home advantage next weekend, increasing their chances of taking 100% records into Round 4. Antrim, one of only three teams across all four Allianz Football divisions yet to concede a goal, host Wicklow, who have taken only one of four points. Antrim beat Wicklow by four points in their last Allianz League clash in 2016.
Laois, who face Waterford, are determined to return to the Allianz Football League Division 3 at the first attempt and have started in the right manner with comfortable wins over Limerick and Leitrim.
Carlow face Leitrim for the third time in a year. They lost by two points in last year’s Allianz Leagues before winning by seven points in the All-Ireland qualifiers.
London enjoyed a great win over Wicklow last weekend and are in fourth place as they prepare for the visit of Limerick, who have yet to pick up a point. Limerick beat London by four points in last year’s Allianz Leagues.
ALLIANZ FOOTBALL LEAGUE 2018:RESULTS AND FIXTURES
FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION 1
Round 1: Dublin 2-17 Kildare 2-10; Galway 1-9 Tyrone 0-8; Kerry 2-18 Donegal 3-14; Monaghan 0-12 Mayo 0-13.
Round 2: Mayo 2-9 Kerry 1-15; Tyrone 1-11 Dublin 2-13; Kildare 0-12 Monaghan 1-10; Donegal 0-14 Galway 1-12.
Round 3: Feb 10: Dublin v Donegal; Feb 11: Galway v Mayo; Kildare v Tyrone; Monaghan v Kerry.
Round 4: Feb 24: Mayo v Dublin; Monaghan v Tyrone; Feb 25: Donegal v Kildare; Kerry v Galway.
Round 5: Mar 3: Dublin v Kerry; Tyrone v Donegal; Mar 4: Galway v Monaghan; Kildare v Mayo.
Round 6: Mar 17: Kerry v Kildare; Mar 18: Galway v Dublin; Mayo v Tyrone; Monaghan v Donegal.
Round 7: Mar 25: Donegal v Mayo; Dublin v Monaghan; Kildare v Galway; Tyrone v Kerry.
Final: Apr 1
FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION 2
Round 1: Clare 1-12 Cavan 2-9; Cork 1-16 Tipperary 3-16; Louth 0-11 Down 1-14; Roscommon 2-12 Meath 2-12.
Round 2: Cavan 3-17 Louth 0-13; Down 0-10 Cork 1-13; Meath 0-21 Clare 0-7; Tipperary 3-9 Roscommon 1-17.
Round 3: Feb 10: Cavan v Meath; Feb 11: Clare v Tipperary; Cork v Louth; Roscommon v Down.
Round 4: Feb 24: Tipperary v Meath; Feb 25: Cork v Cavan; Down v Clare; Louth v Roscommon.
Round 5: Mar 3: Cavan v Down; Mar 4: Clare v Roscommon; Meath v Cork; Tipperary v Louth.
Round 6: Mar 17: Cork v Clare; Mar 18: Down v Tipperary; Louth v Meath; Roscommon v Cavan.
Round 7: Mar 25: Cavan v Tipperary; Clare v Louth; Meath v Down; Roscommon v Cork.
Final: Apr 1
FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION 3
Round 1: Armagh 2-17 Sligo 0-9; Derry 2-14 Westmeath 2-17; Fermanagh 3-7 Wexford 2-5; Offaly 1-13 Longford 3-18.
Round 2: Fermanagh 2-11 Offaly 1-6; Longford 1-13 Derry 1-6; Sligo 1-16 Wexford 1-13; Westmeath 1-11 Armagh 2-17.
Round 3: Feb 11: Armagh v Longford; Derry v Offaly; Sligo v Fermanagh; Wexford v Westmeath.
Round 4: Feb 24: Fermanagh v Derry; Feb 25: Longford v Wexford; Offaly v Armagh; Westmeath v Sligo.
Round 5: Mar 3: Armagh v Derry; Mar 4: Sligo v Longford; Westmeath v Fermanagh; Wexford v Offaly.
Round 6: Mar 11: Derry v Wexford; Mar 18: Fermanagh v Armagh: Longford v Westmeath; Offaly v Sligo.
Round 7: Mar 25: Longford v Fermanagh; Sligo v Derry; Westmeath v Offaly; Wexford v Armagh.
Final: Mar 31
FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION 4
Round 1: London 2-9 Carlow 2-14; Laois 2-12 Limerick 0-9; Antrim 0-15 Leitrim 0-5; Wicklow 0-12 Waterford 0-12.
Round 2: Leitrim 3-10 Laois 3-16; Limerick 0-14 Carlow 2-11; London 1-16 Wicklow 0-10; Waterford 0-10 Antrim 2-12.
Round 3: Feb 10: Laois v Waterford; Carlow v Leitrim; Feb 11: Antrim v Wicklow; London v Limerick.
Round 4: Feb 24: Waterford v Carlow; Feb 25: Leitrim v Limerick; Wicklow v Laois; London v Antrim.
Round 5: Mar 3: Carlow v Wicklow; London v Leitrim; Mar 4: Laois v Antrim; Limerick v Waterford.
Round 6: Mar 11: London v Laois; Mar 18: Antrim v Carlow; Waterford v Antrim; Wicklow v Limerick.
Round 7: Mar 25: Carlow v Laois; Leitrim v Wicklow; Limerick v Antrim; London v Waterford.