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Gaelic Football - GAA: All-Ireland Football final

Kerry seemingly did the hard graft by beating arch rivals Dublin in the semi-finals, but now they have to finish the job against Galway as they go in search of their first All-Ireland title since 2014.

They are 3/10 to end that eight-year drought and rightly so given they are the current Division 1 league champions and have beaten Mayo and Dublin since winning the Munster championship for an 83rd time.

Galway (7/2) have disposed of a pair of Ulster outfits to get to the decider, but this represents a significant step up in class for them.

The last time these sides met in a competitive outing was in May of last year, round one of the league in Tralee and it was x-rated viewing for Galway fans.

Kerry won by 22 points - 4-21 to 0-11 - and, while a similar scenario is highly unlikely this time, it would be no surprise if they were on the receiving end of another double-digit defeat.


Galway v Kerry, All-Ireland senior football championship final


Croke Park, Dublin


15:30, Sunday 24th July

How to watch

Sky Sports Arena

OddsKerry 3/10, Galway 7/2

Galway form looks questionable

The cagier this is, the better for Galway. They were atrocious for the first half-hour against Derry, but they only conceded three points in that shocking spell as Rory Gallagher's charges kept them in the game.

If Kerry are afforded the same chances as Derry were, this could be over by half-time.

Galway love to play on the counter-attack and Damien Comer's late goal in the semi-final when Derry goalkeeper Odhran Lynch went walkabout was a prime example of how quickly they can turn defence into attack.

They crave turnovers, but allowing Kerry to have mass amounts of possession might not be the cleverest idea.

Kerry have attacking options

Kerry have superb long-range shooters and they won't be afraid to have a go from distance. If David Clifford can loop around and get himself into scoring positions from 40 metres out, just as he did in the opening half against Dublin, he will punish Galway.

So will Sean O'Shea and Paul Geaney, even if the latter was woeful against the Dubs. It was out of character as he was excellent in their win over Mayo in the quarter-final.

It is worth remembering Kerry had a penalty to go seven points up before half-time against Dublin. Had O'Shea slotted that home it would have made the score 2-7 to 0-6 and I have no doubt they would have sailed into the sunset in splendid isolation.

O'Shea struck it poorly and Evan Comerford saved, so Dublin were off the hook and, having lifted the Sam Maguire eight times since 2011, they were always going to take advantage of their second chance.

They almost took full advantage, only for O'Shea to redeem himself with his miraculous late winner, but Kerry would surely have won far more convincingly had the penalty been converted.

O'Connor makes a difference

Since Jack O'Connor returned to the helm, he has shored up the Kerry defence with the help of Paddy Tally.

They have only conceded one goal in the championship, a terrific strike from Cormac Costello, and they kept clean sheets in six of their eight league outings as well - only Tyrone and Monaghan managed to find the net against them.

It is hard to see Galway getting goal chances. They got two against Derry, but we all know the second of those was down to ridiculously goalkeeping and they could struggle to break down Kerry’s much-improved rearguard unit.

Kerry can cut loose

The build-up to Sunday’s showdown has been dominated by pundits predicting a low-scoring, drab encounter, but that may not be the case if Kerry start well.

If they break smartly from the traps and edge in front in the early stages, Galway cannot sit back. They will have to take chances and that is exactly where Kerry will want them to be.

Kerry are averaging 23 points a game in the championship, so odds of 4/5 for them scoring over 19.5 points is very generous indeed. As is odds-against for them scoring two goals or more.

Their conversion rate of goal chances has been very poor this year, but this could be the occasion when the floodgates open.

Galway are a very good side, but they are not a great one. This could be the beginning of an era of Kerry dominance and an emphatic victory is expected.

Favourites can defy handicap

The last two finals have been won by five points and this one could be even more decisive.

Kerry have achieved a lot more than Galway on route to the All-Ireland final and ending their Dublin hoodoo is sure to instil massive confidence into the camp ahead of the big day.

They have better forwards, a better system and more big-game experience, so the advice is to get on Jack O'Connor's charges to defy a four-point handicap at 1/1.

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