Mayo v Monaghan: All-Ireland qualifier to be shown exclusively live on NOW 3 months ago

Mayo v Monaghan: All-Ireland qualifier to be shown exclusively live on NOW

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The All-Ireland qualifiers get underway with a massive game in Castlebar.

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Mayo take on Monaghan in the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship qualifiers on Saturday. And, with the provincial championships over, there is no room for error.

On Saturday in Castlebar, one county will be eliminated from the All-Ireland Championship before it even gets going. For the other, their campaign will be given a huge momentum boost.

You can watch the match exclusively live with a NOW Sports Membership.

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Mayo v Monaghan.

In some ways, Monaghan are the Mayo of Ulster. They are a hugely successful county, obsessed with Gaelic football, and continuously mix it with the big hitters.

Monaghan are also known to pull off huge upsets, such as their thrilling game against Dublin over a month ago, which resulted in the capital getting relegated to Division Two. Yet, at some stage of the year, Monaghan always seem to fall short.

Mayo, meanwhile, have reached more All-Ireland finals outside of Dublin than any other side over the past decade. However, they have yet to sneak over the line.

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Now, the two sides are in limbo after crashing out of their provincial championships, and another defeat would end their season, while a win could rejuvenate them entirely.

Last chance for Mayo or Monaghan.

In the Ulster Senior Football Championship semi-finals last month, Derry outplayed Seamus McEneaney's side, as some of Monaghan's big names players failed to step up to the plate.

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Jack McCarron has had the league campaign of his life earlier this year but just couldn't get moving in the Ulster Championship. Gary Mohan has burst onto the scene as their new bright spark but again was nullified by the Oakleaf defence.

Ultimately, the Farney men reverted to doing what they've been guilty of doing for the past decade - relying on Conor McManus. The star forward is still one of the best in the business, but age and injuries mean that he needs more help this time around.

So, unless the likes of Conor McCarthy and co start chipping in more on the big stage, Monaghan could struggle for scores against the Connacht side on Saturday.

Mayo's injury list.

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Meanwhile, James Horan's team had a mixed league campaign. Mayo reached the final but they were then embarrassed by Kerry as David Clifford ran riot.

Horan would have wanted a response after that defeat. However, losing to Galway in the opening round of the Connacht Senior Football Championship was not the reaction he would have had in mind.

Yet, if we look beyond the final result, it was a very tight game. Mayo can also take some positives from the defeat, as the likes of Cillian O'Connor successfully returned to the fold.

Mayo's biggest issue heading into Saturday's game is injuries. The Maritime county could be badly depleted for the Monaghan clash. Oisin Mullan is nursing a hamstring tear, and Ryan O’Donoghue is reportedly facing a race to be fit.

You can watch Mayo v Monaghan exclusively live with a NOW Sports Membership. The match gets underway at 4 pm in Castlebar.

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