Limerick v Dublin 

Dublin will need to secure two points very soon if they are to book a spot in Division One next year, and this trip to the Gaelic Grounds on Saturday (throw-in 2.00) should help them erase the memories of 'that historic night' last week.

The Dubs started well against Tyrone as the Red Hand men struggled badly to get in gear; but of great concern for Paul Caffrey will be the complete fading-out of his charges in the second-half, in which they were outscored by eight points to one.  

Moreover, this isn't a glamour tie. From Dublin's perspective it's a long way to the Gaelic Grounds, it'll be cold, wet and windy, there won't be 81,000 or so fans cheering them on, and the pitch will be slower and stickier. 

Still, the game is very much in Dublin's favour. For starters, this is Limerick's first game (they didn't get a run out last weekend due to heavy fog in Clones). Dublin have already tasted NFL action and they will be strongly motivated, since they need to register those first points. 

The condition of Mickey Ned O'Sullivan's men is an unknown quantity but expect Dublin to get back on track. 
Verdict: Dublin  

Kerry v Cork

Forget Croke Park, Kerry v Cork will always be remembered as the first GAA match under floodlights, and this tradition will continue in Tralee on Saturday, where both sides will be desperate to pick up their first points (throw-in at 7.30pm).  

Kerry are depleted going into this game as they're missing young forward Darren O'Sullivan. Tomás O Sé is doubtful through injury, and county and club boss Pat O'Shea will be resting Colm Cooper and Eoin Brosnan so that they will be fit for Dr Crokes' club championship clash with Moorefield of Kildare. 

Kieran Donaghy will be available though as his red card has been rescinded.

Cork, meanwhile, see the return of Anthony Lynch and Kevin McMahon, but they'll still suffer for the absence of Graham Canty.  

Kerry were close to Mayo despite being defeated and even though they are a depleted force, they should outscore their Rebel neighbours.  

Verdict: Kerry 

Tyrone v Fermanagh 

It's an Ulster derby as Tyrone play host to Fermanagh in Healy Park, Omagh, in Division 1A on Saturday, throw in at 7.30pm.  

Fermanagh had to send Limerick home without even changing out of their tracksuits last week due to fog, so it is difficult, as with the Treatymen, to predict just how they've come through the winter. 

Tyrone, meanwhile, have suffered for their victory over Dublin; they will be missing Ryan McMenamin for the next four weeks after he lashed a kick at Kevin Bonner and was deservedly sent off. This will put a major dent in their campaign and the loss of such a good defender and stand-in captain will require yet more juggling by Mickey Harte.  

This could be the perfect time for Fermanagh to pick up points against Tyrone, but Mickey Harte's men should be capable of adding to their opening round spoils.

Verdict: Tyrone

Donegal v Mayo 

It's a trip to Donegal for Mayo after their defeat of Kerry in the opener, with both sides hoping to continue the excellent starts to their respective campaigns, with throw in at 2.00pm on Sunday. 

Mayo will have been heartened by that victory against Kerry in the opener, getting straight back on the bicycle after such a horrible fall last summer. 

Basketball commitments may see Ronan McGarrity take no part in the game (or be forced to travel 160 miles from the basketball match to Donegal to take part). Otherwise, Mayo have no injury worries. 

Donegal, for their part, have shown their strength of character in hauling Cork back - though it was helped somewhat by the sendings off of James Masters and Nicholas Murphy at crucial periods in the game. 

Mayo have approached the league in a serious manner and Donegal are in good shape, but the Mayo men's greater desire should see them through here. 

Verdict: Mayo


Laois v Galway 

Laois and Galway will be looking to bounce back from opening day losses when they square up to each other at Portlaoise on Saturday evening at 7.30pm.  

The men from the O'Moore County suffered a loss in the foggy conditions in Mullingar. They failed to get to grips with the Westmeath forwards and managed to score just 1-4 from play during the afternoon. They will have to up the ante to avoid a second defeat and the looming possibility of life in Division 3 next year. 

The Tribesmen suffered an even more depressing home loss to Derry and must already be worried about their prospects for survival in the top flight. Then again, over the last few years Galway have left their best form in the NFL until the latter stages so hope may not be lost just yet.  

If Galway can get a foothold at midfield and stop Padraig Clancy from running the show they should be able to retain enough possession to set their forwards, particularly Sean Armstrong, free. 

Verdict: Galway  

Down v Kildare 

The pressure will be on Kildare to reproduce last week's performance when they travel to Down to take on the Mournemen on Sunday, throw-in at 1.30pm.   

Kildare, and in reality John Doyle, had Armagh scratching their heads at the final whistle in Newbridge last Sunday. Doyle grabbed 11 points (eight from frees) in a memorable starring role for the Allenwood man. Such efficiency will not have gone unnoticed, though, and Down will be on his case from the start and, no doubt, will be keeping the fouls to a minimum.

Down manager Ross Carr will have been incensed at how his team rolled over against Divisions 1 newcomers Louth. They held a one-point lead at the interval but went down by four points at the end of the game. Benny Coulter started in midfield in that encounter and it would not be a major surprise to see him take up a position closer to the opposition goalmouth on this occasion. 

If Kildare fail to assist Doyle in his Trojan efforts - and if Doyle is disrupted in his work - Down could conceivably win without having to score the 1-13 they scored last week. 

Verdict: Down  

Derry v Westmeath 

Derry and Westmeath will be attempting to improve their chances of making it to the knock-out stages by building on wins last week when they meet each other on Sunday afternoon, throw-in at 1.30pm.  

Westmeath gave a very polished performance, albeit in foggy conditions, to emerge with a victory against Laois. To see six players scoring from play this early in the season augurs well for what's ahead. However, they will have their work cut out against the strong forwards they will face this weekend.  

Paddy Bradley and Conleth Gilligan were on fire against Galway and it's difficult to see anyone in the midlands side that will be able to cover either player adequately.  Add to that the fact that Enda Muldoon got 14 minutes under his belt and will be eager to start weighing on the score sheet and it should be high noon for Westmeath.  

If Westmeath can break down the play and stop the Oak Leafers from delivering quality ball to Bradley and Gilligan then they may have a chance. But it's unlikely. 

Verdict: Derry  

Armagh v Louth  

The Border divides Armagh and Louth on the map, but we'll find out what divides them on the field when they take their places on it this Sunday at 1.30pm.

Louth coped well against their other neighbours Down last week, grabbing a well-deserved win. They showed no stage fright and racked up a creditable 2-14. Paddy Keenan was behind much of their good work last week and will fancy his chances against an inexperienced Armagh midfield.

The Orchardmen suffered from their usual opening day blues, this time going down by two points to a John Doyle-inspired Kildare. Manager Joe Kernan will have been pleased with the performances of both Steven McDonnell and Paul Toal, the latter at wing-forward. Toal however will surely be needed in the centre of the field where he may be able to expose some naivety in the men from the Wee County.

So a gust of reality should hit Louth this weekend as Armagh should get their title challenge firmly back on track.

Verdict: Armagh

By Barry Whyte