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Belfast Live
Belfast Live
Paddy Tierney

Tyrone vs Kerry: Team news and key battles as Red Hands name unchanged team

Tyrone managers Feargal Logan and Brian Dooher have named an unchanged team for Saturday’s All-Ireland SFC quarter-final showdown with Kerry in Croke Park.

The Red Hands recorded an impressive 1-18 to 0-13 win over Donegal in the preliminary quarter-final last Saturday night in Ballybofey.

Former Footballer of the Year Kieran McGeary was a late switch prior to throw-in as the Pomeroy clubman replaced Joe Oguz.

Read more: Derry vs Cork: Team news and key battles as Ulster champions recall Chrissy McKaigue

McGeary has retained his place in the first 15 and there’s one change to the match-day panel with Errigal Ciaran’s Niall Kelly replacing Michael McGleenan.

Frank Burns, Niall Sludden and Cathal McShane are also included among the substitutes for Saturday’s clash with the All-Ireland champions.

Kerry, meanwhile, have made two changes from the team that routed Louth 5-24 to 0-11 in Portlaoise in their final group game.

Gavin White and Paul Geaney have been recalled with Mike Breen and Tony Brosnan dropping to the bench.

Tyrone team

Kerry team

Shane Ryan; Graham O’Sullivan, Jason Foley, Tom O’Sullivan; Paul Murphy, Tadhg Morley, Gavin White; Diarmuid O’Connor, Jack Barry; Dara Moynihan, Sean O’Shea, Adrian Spillane; Paudie Clifford, David Clifford, Paul Geaney.

Key Battles

David Clifford (Kerry) v Padraig Hampsey (Tyrone)

Tyrone captain Padraig Hampsey is likely to be given the job of marking Kerry skipper and current Footballer of the Year David Clifford on Saturday (©INPHO/James Crombie)

Probably the single most important task for Tyrone is limiting the influence of David Clifford. Easier said than done, but Tyrone kept the Fossa star to one outrageous point from play in the League meeting in Omagh back in March.

Padraig Hampsey marked Clifford that day and, although Ronan McNamee has picked up the Footballer of the Year in the past, it would be a surprise if Hampsey isn’t on him on Saturday.

The Coalisland clubman has turned in a series of impressive performances in recent weeks and the Red Hands need their captain to be at his very best this weekend.

Paudie Clifford (Kerry) v Conor Meyler (Tyrone)

Conor Meyler is Paudie Clifford’s kryptonite and the Omagh man will be given the job of sticking to the elder Clifford sibling like clue on Saturday.

He performed the role to perfection and it was one of the main reasons why Tyrone defeated Kerry in the 2021 All-Ireland semi-final. He repeated the feat on his home turf as Tyrone defeated Kerry in the League this season.

Last weekend’s Donegal victory and a Man-of-the-Match award illustrated Meyler’s effectiveness as a line-breaker and a playmaker. Tyrone will need others to fill that void if Meyler is busy containing Paudie Clifford on Saturday.

Darragh Canavan (Tyrone) v Jason Foley (Kerry)

Darragh Canavan has put a frustrating run of injuries behind him and is developing into a serious attacking talent.

His performance against Westmeath was his finest in a Tyrone shirt and he backed it up with another fine display against Donegal. Younger brother Ruairi is now also commanding a starting berth and it will be fascinating to see how the Canavans fare in Croke Park 20 years on from their father Peter leading Tyrone to their first Sam Maguire triumph.

Jason Foley marked Canavan in the League game in Omagh and held the Errigal Ciaran ace to two points from play and is likely to be handed man-marking duties once again.

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