GAA Expert & Columnist
Peter Canavan column: Tyrone and Mayo can avoid qualifier woe
Last Updated: 27/06/19 4:11pm
Sky Sports analyst Peter Canavan looks ahead to the weekend's football qualifiers, which are live on Sky Sports.
From a Tyrone point of view, the two teams you would not want to travel to were Mayo and Kildare. Although they avoided Mayo, they were paired with the Lilywhites in the draw. So they are Newbridge-bound, hoping St Conleth's Park will not play host to another championship upset.
It's a favourable draw for Kildare, as it's a great chance to ignite their season. Last year, they rose to the occasion to knock Mayo out. Playing against a top team got the best out of them.
Cian O'Neill is likely rubbing his hands together. It's a challenge for Kildare to get their teeth into across the week, and produce that type of performance like they did against Mayo.
It's a tricky tie for Tyrone and certainly one that should not be taken for granted.
I think this will go to the wire.
I think Tyrone still have the quality to get through. Kildare without Daniel Flynn are a different side, and the fact he's not there this year, it's a massive advantage to the Red Hands.
Mickey Harte's side are going to have to improve, they will need their best performance of the summer to get through. But I think they are playing well within themselves at the minute and there's much more there.
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Can Mayo make enjoy home comforts?
The other big tie of the weekend is Armagh's trip to Mayo.
If the game had been drawn to be in Armagh, it would be a completely different dynamic, given the smaller venue. The Athletic Grounds has a tighter pitch. Castlebar certainly swings the advantage in Mayo's favour.
James Horan's side have the chance to atone for the loss to Roscommon. They will be keen to re-establish winning ways in MacHale Park.
It was not easy for the National League champions to go to Newry and get the win. Down are on a high at the minute, so I would say that was a massive win for Mayo last week and they will be hard to beat in their own back yard.
Psychologically, the win over Monaghan was massive for Armagh. People did not give them much credit for beating Down in Páirc Esler earlier in the summer. They were unlucky to lose to Cavan in the Ulster semi-final replay.
But they went to Clones and beat the Farney County convincingly. They are playing with a spring in their step and they will certainly go down relishing the thought of taking on the big guns.
There's no pressure on them. They have ammunition up front to hurt teams. With Jamie Clarke and Rian O'Neill up top, they will give it a real rattle.
It's well set up for Armagh, but I think the running power of Mayo will be too much.
If they can convert more of their chances like they did against Down, it's hard to look past a Mayo victory.
Sky Sports' live GAA coverage continues on Saturday, June 29, with Tyrone travelling to Newbridge to face Kildare, and Mayo hosting Armagh.