Rossies hoping to rise to occasion against All-Ireland champions

Allianz National Football League Division One: Roscommon v Dublin on Sunday at Dr Hyde Park at 2 pm

Despite the fact that Dublin are in the semi-finals and Roscommon are also almost certain to be in the last four as well, the visit of the All-Ireland champions to Dr. Hyde Park on Sunday is a glamour fixture which is sure to draw a massive crowd.

However the exchanges might not be as hotly contested as would be the case if the points were needed by either or both teams.

Despite the problems with the Hyde Park pitch, which were obvious to everyone last Sunday, it is almost certain that the game will go ahead at the Roscommon town venue on Sunday. A final decision will not be made until Saturday, with Carrick-on-Shannon being the alternative venue.

Dublin have been so impressive in this league campaign and are in fact unbeaten. They are sure to take a look at some of their fringe players on Sunday, but even those players are household names.

The opportunity to see the likes of Johnny Cooper, James McCarthy, Brian Fenton, Paul Flynn, Kevin McMenamon, Bernard Brogan, Ciaran Kilkenny, Cormac Costello, Diarmuid Connolly and Peader Andrews in action will ensure a huge crowd again on Sunday.

Roscommon should have Ian Kilbride, Niall Daly and Senan Kilbride available for selection, which will strengthen the team. However to be without the U-21s – Ultan Harney, Diarmuid Murtagh, Cathal Compton, Sean Mullooly and Ronan Daly – will be a blow.

If the game is played at Dr. Hyde Park it is certain that the conditions will be very heavy and therefore it will be a test of stamina for both sides.

With the pressure off both sides (only a massive defeat will affect Roscommon’s semi-final prospects) the game might not be as intense as if there was more at stake.

Roscommon will want to respond positively after last weekend’s disappointment and I expect them to be very competitive.

But when you look at the Dublin team and the players they have, particularly up front, it is difficult to see anything other than a win for the champions.

It promises to be a great occasion with another bumper crowd present.

Match odds: Roscommon 9/4 v Dublin 4/9; Draw 8/1. Prediction: Dublin, by three points.