MICK O’DWYER ADMITS Dublin have the upper hand going into Sunday’s mouth-watering All-Ireland SFC semi-final. But the Kerry legend insists any side from the Kingdom are hard beat at GAA HQ in August.
“Well, I suppose if you are looking at the form of the two teams over the league and Championship today Dublin must be favourites but they have often been favourites in the past,” the multiple All Ireland winner says.
“In ’55 they were raging hot favourites. In ’75 they were raging hot favourites and in ’78 they were raging hot favourites.
“In all those occasions Kerry came out on top. A lot of these Kerry players have a lot of mileage over the years and that won’t help them Sunday because I presume it will be a warm day in Croke Park.
“This is a very young Dublin good. It will be a good test. I still think Kerry will put it up to Dublin on Sunday, but all said, it’s a home venue for Dublin, which it is.
“They have played nearly all their games there, but Kerry, we rate Croke Park a home venue for us because we play well every time we get there.
“I think it will be no different this time. We have five of the best forwards still in the country and if our back line measure up to the Dublin forward line I think we still have a great chances.”
Pressed on who he thinks will come out on top and claim a place in the September finale against Mayo, he added: “[I]n fairness, you have to go for Dublin, but then again you remember, Kerry are Kerry and Kerry in Croke Park can be a different animal than playing them any other where. It’s going to be interesting.
“[Kerry] played very well in the Munster final. They played very well for 40 minutes that time, they gave an exhibition of football. A lot of people might say the legs of some of the older players are starting to wane a bit but generally overall there could be still a good game in the Kerry team.
“They are not going to be beaten too easily in Croke Park, Kerry teams are never beaten too easily in Croke Park.
“Dublin have been raging hot favourites for games in the past and the results went Kerry’s way. Dublin were never hotter than they are at the moment, they expect to win the All-Ireland, never mind beat Kerry. Sunday is going to be a good test but going on form you would have to say Dublin are that little bit ahead. He has 26 players he can play at any time, maybe he has too many players – that can be a damn site worse than not having enough sometimes.”