Oisin McConville believes that "Armagh can win the All-Ireland" for first time since 2002 1 month ago

Oisin McConville believes that "Armagh can win the All-Ireland" for first time since 2002

"Armagh's trajectory is on the upper curve."

Former Armagh star Oisin McConville has been playing it safe with his Armagh predictions since they lost to Donegal in the Ulster championship.

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The coy BBC pundit tipped both Tyrone and Donegal to beat his native county in the qualifiers, but now as they march into the qualifiers, the former forward can't contain his patriotism.

The Orchard county face Galway in what is probably the most fascinating match up this weekend, as both teams are on the crest of a wave, and both are looking to make that big breakthrough into Ireland's elite.

With a place in the semi-final up for grabs, and effectively just two games away from being in the All-Ireland final, those in the Ulster county are daring to dream - McConville included.

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"They can (win the All-Ireland) and the reason is that a lot of teams believe they can," McConville told BBC Sport.

"At least five teams in that mix believe they can win the All-Ireland. That's because all of the teams that were ahead have come back to the pack.

"Also, Armagh's trajectory is on the upper curve. They need to continue that. Do they need to improve to win an All-Ireland? Dramatically, but I think that improvement is there."

The other Ulster side that are contesting in the quarter finals, are of course the provincial champions Derry.

They will take on a fearless Clare team, who are just after dumping out a much fancied Roscommon side, to reach the last eight, but McConville believes that the Oakleaf county will have too much for them.

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"I don't think Clare will provide the challenge of the previous teams they've played. Division One teams.

"Derry played the reigning All-Ireland champions. They've been up to every task. Everything that's been thrown at them, they've had an answer for and you can imagine at the weekend that it will be business as usual.

"And while people are talking that it's not as easy to clamp down the space (in Croke Park) but I think Derry will cope with that OK.

"I don't think Clare can offer them enough challenges."

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