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Belfast Live
Paddy Tierney

All-Ireland SFC permutations ahead of final round of group games

With one round of group games remaining in the All-Ireland series, all five Ulster sides go into this weekend’s games with plenty to play for.

Indeed, all five teams have some prospect of topping their respective groups and going straight through to quarter-finals.

While the three Ulster sides in Group Four, namely Derry, Donegal and Monaghan, will progress to the last 12 in some way, shape or form, this weekend’s fixtures are vital for both Armagh and Tyrone.

Read more: Armagh star Rian O’Neill to miss Galway tie after Tyrone red card call is upheld

The threat of being eliminated still hangs over both teams, who have one win each from their opening two games.

The top team in each of the four group will progress to the All-Ireland SFC quarter-final while the second and third-placed teams go into next weekend's preliminary quarter-final with the second-placed sides having home advantage.

The four teams at the bottom of each group will be eliminated from the All-Ireland Championship.

Here’s a rundown of how each group is looking ahead of this weekend’s round three ties.

Group One

Mayo threw a spanner in the works in round one with a deserved win over Kerry in Killarney. It now looks as though one of the teams finishing third, possibly Armagh or Tyrone, could have to travel to the Kingdom to face the All-Ireland champions in the preliminary quarter-finals next weekend.

That’s assuming Kerry beat Louth and Mayo secure at least a draw against Cork. Mickey Harte’s side must defeat Kerry to have any hope of staying in the Championship.

If they do, then Kerry are vulnerable, especially if Cork get a draw or a win against Mayo.

The more likely scenario is wins for Mayo and Kerry on Sunday leaving the Connacht side in the quarter-final with Kerry and Cork finishing second and third respectively.

Group One fixtures

Sunday, June 18

Kerry v Louth (O'Moore Park, 2pm)

Mayo v Cork (TUS Gaelic Grounds, 2pm)

Group Two

Tyrone's Darragh Canavan scores a point late against Armagh despite the best efforts of Ciaran Mackin and Cian McConville (©INPHO/Evan Treacy)

Galway are the only team in Group Two who are guaranteed to be involved in the Championship beyond this weekend.

Tyrone are second in the group after their win over Armagh in round two and will be assured of at least a place in the preliminary quarter-finals if they beat Westmeath in Kingspan Breffni on Sunday.

To top the group, Tyrone also need Armagh to beat Galway, leaving all three teams tied on four points with scoring difference used to determine the finishing order. Galway are currently +11 with Tyrone and Armagh both on -1.

Tyrone can also be knocked out if they lose to Westmeath and Armagh gain a draw or a win against Galway as Dessie Dolan’s side would go through on the head-to-head result against the Red Hands.

If Westmeath and Galway win, three teams would be tied on two points and scoring difference would come into play, but Westmeath are currently -9 so they need a big swing in their favour this weekend.

Should Galway defeat Armagh in Carrick-on-Shannon, a draw against Westmeath would be enough to see Tyrone secure second place and a home preliminary quarter-final next weekend.

Group Two fixtures

Sunday, June 18

Galway v Armagh (Carrick-on-Shannon, 4pm)

Tyrone v Westmeath (Kingspan Breffni, 4pm)

Group Three

The calculators could be required on Sunday evening for this group with all four teams having a chance of topping the group.

However, Roscommon or Dublin are likely to top the given their superior scoring difference with Kildare and Sligo in danger of elimination.

The draws between Roscommon and Dublin in Croke Park and Kildare and Sligo in Markievicz Park means scoring difference rather than the head-to-head ruling is likely to come into play.

If Roscommon beat Kildare in Tullamore and Dublin defeat Sligo in Kingspan Breffni, Davy Burke’s side will top the group as long as they win by more than Dublin as their scoring difference is currently one point better than Dublin’s.

Dessie Farrell’s side need to better Roscommon’s margin of victory to take top spot.

It is similarly tight at the other end of the table with one point also the difference between Sligo and Kildare’s scoring difference. In the result that both counties lose, the team who suffers the heavier defeat will be knocked out.

Should Kildare and Sligo both win, then all four teams will finish on three points and scoring difference will be used to determine the finishing order in the group.

Group Three fixtures

Sunday, June 18

Dublin v Sligo (Kingspan Breffni, 1.45pm)

Roscommon v Kildare (Tullamore, 1.45pm)

Group Four

Derry's Padraig McGrogan exchanges words with Donegal's Stephen McMenamin during their round two clash in Ballybofey earlier this month (©INPHO/Evan Treacy)

Clare are the only team who cannot progress beyond this weekend, but the Banner can still have a huge say in the final placing in Group Four.

Derry will be expected to defeat Clare in Pearse Park, but they will have to wait until the full-time whistle blows in Omagh before learning if they’ll top the group.

After Monaghan clinched a draw in Celtic Park, the Farney can top Group Four if they defeat Donegal in O’Neills Healy Park on Saturday.

Monaghan and Derry have an equal scoring difference of +5 at present, but Monaghan are top due to the next determining factor which is total points scored.

A draw in Omagh and a win for Derry would see the Ulster champions finishing first with Monaghan in second and Donegal in third.

In order for Donegal to finish top, they would need to beat Monaghan and also for Clare to beat Derry in Longford. A Donegal win and a draw for Derry would also be enough for the Oak Leafers to top the group due to their head-to-head victory over Aidan O’Rourke’s side in round two.

Group Four fixtures

Saturday, June 17

Derry v Clare (Glennon Brothers Pearse Park, 6pm)

Monaghan v Donegal (O'Neills Healy Park, 6pm)


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