GAA punting pro Keith Merchant (@kmerchant3) shares his thoughts on this weekend's action from across the Irish Sea.
Kerry v Kildare | Saturday 4th August 2018, 18:00 | Sky Sports
Saturday promises to be an intriguing and exciting evening as the final group games come to a head. Kerry meet Kildare in Killarney knowing only a win – and at the same time hoping Galway beat Monaghan – will give them a semi-final place in the All-Ireland Football Championship.
Kerry boss Eamonn Fitzmaurice has never failed to guide Kerry into the last-four stage but that record is now under serious threat ahead of their final Super 8s clash with Kildare in a do-or-die encounter.
Kerry against Monaghan played second best for most of the game but still managed to survive until the final game. The players showed a terrific attitude to the bitter end and never threw in the towel.
For example, in the first-half when they were they were under sustained pressure, the leadership shown by the younger players like David Clifford, Tom O’Sullivan and Sean O’Shea was savage. Kieran Donaghy’s introduction from the start brought a different dynamic and he brought physicality and leadership to the team, key in the Kingdom getting a draw.
As for Kildare this is a nothing game with nothing more than pride to play for as they can't go any further. It will be tough for them to get motivated and, while I have little doubt the Kildare management will want to finish on a high, without their talisman Daniel Flynn, I can only see one result.
I expect this young Kerry team to shine when required and win with a few points to spare. I also expect a goalfest as Kerry need to win by at least five points so I’ll be hoping Paul Geaney and co can find the net multiple times and can get back to form.
Kerry to score Over 2.5 Goals is 5/2 (Paddy Power).
Galway v Clare | Sunday 5th August 2018, 14:00 | Sky Sports
This is a replay from last weekend and is one I couldn't see coming. I’m not going to go into the ins and outs again but as stated last weekend, Galway are still the team to beat in this year's competition.
Last weekend may have brought some doubts and a lighter pocket but this Galway team hadn't been tested in the Leinster Championship, whereas Clare had a tough and ferocious Munster Championship to deal with, leaving them ready for a high-intensity game, which I fully believe caught Galway out.
I don't expect this to happen again but the biggest worry is if the brilliant Joe Canning and Geroid McInerney are out as both looked major doubts coming off last weekend. Rumours that Canning is going to be fit – if true – will be massive for the hosts, even without McInerney.
Clare, in the early stages of last week’s game, looked dead and buried but came back into it and were excellent so I'd expect them to be confident of another good showing. However, I still have full belief in this Galway outfit so lets hope we aren't burned twice in seven days.
Galway again by three or four points is how I see the match panning out but I think they’ll need a good start again and hopefully this time they will make no mistake.
Galway half-time/full-time is 11/10 (Paddy Power).
Kerry v Kildare – Kerry to score Over 2.5 Goals (5/2 Paddy Power)
Galway v Clare – Galway half-time/full-time (11/10 Paddy Power)