Sean O'Shea injury tips the scales in favour of Mayo 8 months ago

Sean O'Shea injury tips the scales in favour of Mayo

Sean O'Shea is out with a toe injury.

Kerry welcome Mayo tonight in the Allianz National League, live on prime time TV at 7.30pm on RTE Two.

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It's a mouthwatering clash as the two in-form sides of the league, and two of the favourites to be in Croke Park on All-Ireland final day, are going head to head.

James Horan has been using the entirety of his squad, rotating players every game with maybe six or seven changes at a time, but it doesn't seem to have affected their form.

Interestingly, Aidan O'Shea is set to get his first start of the season as he lines out at centre half forward, after impressing as an impact sub.

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Kerry however, have been attacking this league by trying to play their best 15 every game, with only a couple of changes here and there.

The thinking behind Jack O'Connor's team selection may be the fact that they know the league is a much more competitive environment than the Munster championship, a sentence that should be wrong but isn't.

Playing the likes of Dublin, Donegal, Armagh, and Tyrone etc on a weekly basis, will give O'Connor's players a better gauge of the championship intensity they can expect when it comes to the All-Ireland quarter and semi-final stages.

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With the game being in The Kingdom, I was originally tipping Kerry to come out on top, just slightly - however, the news that Sean O'Shea will miss the tie, tips the scales back in favour of Mayo in my opinion.

A lot of the focus and plaudits are directed towards David Clifford, and rightly so, but O'Shea is the heartbeat of this team.

After a cameo in midfield in the opening game against Kildare that ended in a draw, the current top scorer of the league returned to centre half forward and hasn't put a foot wrong since then.

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O'Connor might be tempted to move Paudie Clifford back out to 11 to accommodate this and the game has lost none of it's excitement or anticipation, but Mayo will be more comfortable with the changes they have made, than the ones forced upon Kerry through this injury.