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3 football player match-ups to savour this weekend

Conor Breslin highlights the most intriguing player v player battles that will take place across the football landscape

With the final round of group matches in the All-Ireland series taking place this weekend, we look at the most noteworthy player battles that will draw fans in.

Seán Kelly v Andrew Murnin
With the absence of Rian O’Neill from this weekend’s match, it is most likely that Seán Kelly will be kept busy on Andrew Murnin.

A true leader at the heart of the Galway defence, Kelly is no stranger to marking the top players in the country.

Considering his talent as an attacking full-back, paired with Armagh’s defensive structure which forces their forwards to retreat into their backline, it’ll be interesting to see these two shadow each other for 70 minutes across Carrick-on-Shannon.

Murnin has a total of 1-6 throughout this championship campaign, and aware that his side cannot afford to find themselves chasing the game, manager Kieran McGeeney is hoping that Murnin and Conor Turbitt in particular get off to a good start.

Pádraig O’Hora v Brian Hurley
Though used recently by Kevin McStay in the wing-back position to break defensive lines, Pádraig O’Hora’s skill in tight marking could come into play this weekend.

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His role on Cork full-forward Brian Hurley could be interesting.

The return of the talismanic Castlehaven sharpshooter was a welcome boost for the Cork footballers, following the veteran’s injury with his quad and shoulder over the last number of months.

Upon his return to championship football, Hurley slotted eight points against Louth and six against Kerry.

Such scoring ability may perhaps forcing McStay’s hand in placing the game’s best defensive markers in O’Hora on Hurley this weekend.

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Mayo have already qualified for the last 12, but topping the group will require a solid performance from the back six.

Cork’s big strength this season is their ability to land so many names on the scoreboard, and they need to take advantage of that on the attack.

Mayo need to be wary.

Shaun Patton v Rory Beggan
Although on opposite ends of the field, it will be the war of the goalkeepers which could have the biggest impact in either Donegal or Monaghan snatching the victory in this group 4 clash.

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While both are brilliant ‘keepers, they use their role as a netminder in two very different ways.

Beggan has consistently joined up with the play throughout his career, and can kick scores from play and dead ball situations as good as many outfield player.

His ability to spot a pass and deliver it accurately was only highlighted further this season with his quick ball inside that led to Stephen O’Hanlon’s goal against Tyrone in their Ulster clash.

Patton tends to be a lot more reserved and conscientious in his style of play.

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He isn’t as adventurous and questions can be asked about his ability under a high ball.

But with regards to kickouts, there may be no player more accurate.

His knack in saving one-on-ones was key to Donegal hanging on in the first half against Clare last month.

Of the many battles that will occur out the field in this match, it is the role and differing tactics of the goalkeepers that will draw many in and be a large factor to the winning of the match.

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Enjoy our latest offering and leave a comment below. 𝘈𝘴 𝘢𝘯 𝘈𝘮𝘢𝘻𝘰𝘯 𝘈𝘴𝘴𝘰𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘵𝘦, 𝘸𝘦 𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘯 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘲𝘶𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘺𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘱𝘶𝘳𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘴𝘦𝘴 🎁 𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗺𝗮𝘀 𝗴𝗶𝗳𝘁 𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗮𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗵𝗶𝗺...