Kevin McStay thinks Dublin have not been at their best this year but is wary of the seven-in-a-row chasers hitting their stride against his native Mayo in Saturday's All-Ireland SFC semi-final.

The Dubs' average winning margin in Leinster was 18 points last year but that dropped to seven this summer.

"I don't see the same aura of invincibility around Dublin," McStay told the RTÉ GAA podcast.

"Looking at their Leinster campaign, they’re not scoring as much, they’re not winning by as much. That has to be a bit of a worry.

"Jim Gavin gave off a certain calmness, (a sense that) 'I know what’s going on here and this will all work out’. His team were massively expe rienced and Stephen Cluxton was the figurehead who drove the whole thing on.

"And they’re gone out of the equation. No doubt Dessie (Farrell) is a excellent manager, Evan Comerford is an absolutely excellent goalkeeper, but there’s no sense of ‘This could end up 20 points if these fellas get a run on you'.

"Now, in a couple of days' time we might say 'they're right back in it, it’s game on again for another title'.

"The whole of Mayo is hoping that you cannot switch it on and find your form 24 hours before the big day. But every time we try to convince ourselves that Dublin might be in a bit of a dodge position, they come back and knock you for six.

"We travel not without hope but things would have to fall very nicely. We'd have to break that duck of not scoring more than one goal in a championship match against Dublin."

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Ciaran Whelan is confident that Dublin will up their game from their closest rivals over the last decade, who they beat in a fourth All-Ireland final in eight years last December.

"The hope for Mayo is that Dublin don’t return to themselves," said the former Dublin captain.

"Some of the players Mayo introduced last year have got better. They’ve lost (David) Clarke, (Chris) Barrett and Cillian O’Connor but you feel they’re improving and still on an upward curve.

"They’re extremely fit and have a lot of credentials coming into the match.

"But the personnel will be largely the same as the All-Ireland final only eight months ago.

"You look at that and the psychological battle between the two teams. The hate that’s there, I equate it to Dublin v Meath in the 90s to a certain degree. It’s a brilliant rivalry.

"You have to expect Dublin will up for Mayo.

"We know the fitness, power and running game Mayo bring. The big question mark is whether they can do that for 70 minutes.

"Dublin are the masters at controlling the tempo in the last quarter. If you let them get ahead they’ll just control it.

"Mayo concede an average of two goals a game and if you give Dublin two goals you’ll have to score 20-points plus to beat them."

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Watch Dublin v Mayo live on RTÉ2 or RTÉ Player from 5pm.

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