Former Meath captain Anthony Moyles was on Tuesday’s OTB AM and spoke about the physicality that Tyrone will bring against Kerry’s young guns.
Tyrone put out a second-string side against Dublin on Sunday but Moyles believes that this was the perfect preparation for Mickey Harte’s men as they got to try out new players and rested their stars ahead of the semi-final.
“It couldn’t have lined up better for Tyrone. With the weekend that’s gone, they’ve been able to try lads. He’s able to see who’s put their hands up. He’s been able to give fellas a rest.
“It wasn’t a walk in the park for Kerry in Navan. They rested a couple of fellas but I think they had to dig a little deeper than they probably would have wanted.
“I think it probably gave Mickey Harte another look at them in a competitive environment,” Moyles commented.
Kerry are currently unbeaten but Moyles backed Tyrone to win, citing their physicality and aggressive defense as the key reasons they should come out on top in Croke Park.
“The Tyrone defensive system is extremely good and they’re extremely comfortable in it. I think they’ll bring absolutely everything in a very, very physical way against those Kerry forwards.
“[David] Clifford, whatever he got against Donegal, he’ll get twice as bad.
“It’s going to be question marks again for them because it’s a young forward line. They’re definitely going to ask them the physical questions, first and foremost. There’ll be plenty of afters,” Moyles said.
Have Tyrone shown their (red) hand early?
The main negative the Meath man could see for Tyrone was that Harte’s side may have already shown their ‘Plan B’.
The Red Hands had to switch things up against Cork in Round 2 of the Super 8s when they found themselves five points down at half time.
“I do not think that Harte wanted to show that hand as quickly as he had to. I’d say he would have rathered keeping that as the ace in the pack.
“I think against Cork they were in serious bother at half time. He had to [go to Plan B] and [Mattie] Donnelly obviously went inside and made hay and caused mayhem,” Moyles said.
Tyrone and Kerry face-off in the championship for the first time since 2015, when Kerry won by four points in that year's semi-final.
The game kicks off in Croke Park at 3.30pm this Sunday in the second All-Ireland football semi-final of a super weekend of GAA action.