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The key match-ups that will decide Mayo-Dublin

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

09:46 6 Aug 2019

Former Mayo and Armagh star Billy Joe Padden spoke to Off The Ball this evening about the match-ups that will decide the All-Ireland semi between Dublin and Mayo.

The counties meet again at Croke Park this weekend with Dublin on for five in a row, but Padden has spoken about where the game will be won and lost.

In particular, it was the battle between Lee Keegan and Ciaran Kilkenny that caught his eye; particularly the 'exceptional' response of Kilkenny to Keegan's previous marking jobs.

"[Kilkenny] has gone and added something to his game where he is not just a playmaker at all times; sometimes it can be easy to man-mark a playmaker because they can be running around looking for loads of possession that might be hard-won.

"Kilkenny has adapted - now he can do a stint in the full-forward line and be very dangerous there. The benefit for Keegan is that he can also play in the full-back line."

Another area that Padden is interested in concerns Jack McCaffrey, with Paddy Durkan being the man to take care of the Dub wing-back.

"I would let those two greyhounds chase each other up and down Croke Park - in a way, it is a spectacle in itself to watch those two match-ups alone."

"If Mayo are to win this weekend, then those two match-ups would heavily need to go in Mayo's favour."

The big question is who deals with Brian Fenton, according to Billy Joe.

"I don't think that Mayo will put Aidan O'Shea on [Fenton], I think that they might take a risk on Matty Ruane and see if he has forty minutes of running ability in him.

"I really think that it will have to start with what Mayo do with Jack McCaffrey and Ciaran Kilkenny."

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