GAA Expert & Columnist
Peter Canavan: Tyrone must plan to subdue Kerry's David Moran
Watch Kerry vs Tyrone live on Sky Sports Arena from 2:30pm on Sunday
Last Updated: 08/08/19 11:28am
Sky Sports analyst Peter Canavan looks at the tactical battle ahead of Sunday's All-Ireland semi-final between Kerry and Tyrone.
We didn't learn anything from Tyrone in their loss to Dublin. They already had their business done.
I don't think any player from their weakened side jumped out and said to Mickey Harte 'you need to play me next week in the semi-final' or 'I should be starting'. There was a lot of honest endeavour and a lot of performances that were satisfactory, but I don't think there were many performances that suggested they were going to make an impact next Sunday.
It just lacked that edge that you'd normally expect when Tyrone and Dublin clash.
Stylistically, how will Tyrone now approach the Kingdom?
Mickey has got two tactics in the arsenal. In the route through the qualifiers, they based their game on the counter-attacking style.
He was able to switch things up in the second half of the Cork game, where he got a response from his players. It was a style of play they worked on in the latter stages of the National League. He's got that direct option to use.
How can Tyrone subdue Kerry's firepower?
Tyrone will be up against a full-forward line that is on fire. The Kerry sharpshooters are really starting to blossom.
But for Paul Geaney, David Clifford and company to thrive, so much depends on the quality of ball being sent in.
Against Mayo in the Super 8s, they were sending accurate, one-bounce passes into Geaney and Clifford.
If they're getting that sort of supply, it doesn't matter who's in there, even if there's a sweeper, the movement is that good that they take the sweeper out of the game.
In terms of the quality of ball, you look at David Moran. He was the linchpin against Mayo when they produced their best football. So much of it was being orchestrated by the Kerins O'Rahilly's man.
The Tralee native was dominating the skies, and his distribution was inch-perfect.
For Mickey Harte, stemming the influence of Moran in midfield will be key.
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How will Kerry shape up?
The ironic thing is, when Tyrone played in Killarney at the start of the year, it was Kerry that deployed a defensive strategy. They haven't been as defensive in their championship to date. It worked well for Peter Keane that day in Fitzgerald Stadium, so it will be interesting to see if Keane is tempted to shut up shop.
They have got players that can deploy that style of football. Stephen O'Brien and Seán O'Shea can drop back. That day in the National League, it was Dara Moynihan.
It's a dilemma that Peter Keane is faced with. Will they be aggressive and play their more expansive style? Or will they retreat and take Tyrone on in a counter-attacking game.
It's certainly the tougher semi-final to predict this weekend. I can't see much separating the sides.
I said at the start of the year I fancied a Kerry-Dublin final. If there's one team capable of knocking the Dubs off their pedestal, it's Kerry. So I better stick to my guns.
Going on the Tyrone-Cork game, I was disappointed with the Red Hands in the first half. If they come out with that attitude and play with that intensity, they're going to be in real trouble.
But I would like to think that Tyrone will relish the challenge. Their main stars have had a break.
It's a game that's going to go to the wire. Kerry have played the better football this year, so on the basis that their forwards are more prolific, I will give a tentative vote towards Kerry.
Sky Sports' GAA coverage continues this weekend with live coverage of both All-Ireland SFC semi-finals.