The expectation is that Mayo will win a fifth consecutive Connacht title against Sligo at Hyde Park on Sunday. It may not be a cakewalk as the Yeats County showed enough in their semi-final win over Roscommon that they won't be pushed around.
Their full-forward line of David Kelly, Pat Hughes and Adrian Marren were really good at Markievicz Park, with Marren, especially in the first half, coming deep to to provide the ammunition for those ahead. The Curry clunman helped to himself to 1-07 on the day. The Mayo management will have plans no doubt to curb Sligo's front three while also seeing midfield as an area where they can dominate. According to RTÉ analyst Martin McHugh, the reigning Connacht champions have the "wherewithal to overpower Sligo" in the middle.
"From their kick-outs, Mayo will try and use their greater physicality to boss Sligo out of it," he added.
"I was impressed with Sligo the last the day against Roscommon, and while Roscommon are a big team, they don't possess the same strength and drive that Mayo bring to the game. Sligo will also find it hard to deal with the likes of Aidan O'Shea."
"Mayo are still a quality side and in some ways the pressure maybe off them a bit this year" - Martin McHugh
The 1992 All-Ireland winner predicts "an easy enough win in the end" for Mayo on Sunday and still believes the side are genuine All-Ireland contenders.
"Mayo are still a quality side and in some ways the pressure maybe off them a bit this year. All the talk has been about how good Dublin are, the Kerry v Cork Munster final and whether Donegal have the same desire and belief to reach another final.
"In the county itself, maybe expectations aren't as high as in previous years. Some people are also saying that they are not as good as last year and that can also drive the team on.
"Mayo are very much in the All-Ireland mix for me. They got over a tough enough test against Galway last day. There are areas that they have to improve on, particularly in their full-back line. Sunday's final will be about addressing weaknesses and laying down a marker of sorts before they hit Croke Park in August."
Mayo: David Clarke, Ger Cafferkey, Donal Vaughan, Keith Higgins (cpt), Lee Keegan, Tom Cunniffe, Colm Boyle, Seamus O'Shea, Tom Parsons, Diarmuid O'Connor, Aidan O'Shea, Kevin McLoughlin, Andy Moran, Cillian O'Connor, Jason Doherty.
Sligo: Aidan Devaney; Ross Donavan, Kevin McDonnell, Daniel Maye; Keelan Cawley, Brendan Egan, Eoin Flanagan; Cian Breheny, Niall Murphy; Criostóir Davey, Mark Breheny (capt), Neil Ewing; David Kelly, Pat Hughes, Adrian Marren
Stats: Mayo v Sligo
Mayo and Sligo have met previously in nine Connacht finals. Mayo won six to Sligo’s two with one draw.
2012: Mayo 0-12 Sligo 0-10
1997: Mayo 0-11 Sligo 1-7
1981: Mayo 0-12 Sligo 1-4
1975: Sligo 2-10 Mayo 0-15 (replay)
1975: Sligo 2-10 Mayo 1-13 (draw)
1932: Mayo 2-6 Sligo 0-7 1
1930: Mayo 1-7 Sligo 1-2
1928: Sligo 1-4 Mayo 0-6 1920:
1920 Mayo 2-3 Sligo 1-4
Mayo are bidding for their 13th successive victory in the Connacht championship. Their last defeat was in the 2010 quarter-final when they lost to the Yeats County by 0-15 to 1-10 in Markievicz Park. Since then they have beaten Galway on four occasions, Roscommon three times, London twice, Leitrim, Sligo and New York once each.
Sligo have not scored any goals in their last four championship games against Mayo.