Dublin's Ciaran Kilkenny is expecting Mayo to pose a contrasting tactical challenge to their previous opponents in Sunday's All-Ireland final.

Kildare are the only team to get within nine points of Jim Gavin's men this summer and Tyrone's tactic of mass defence and counter-attack was unpicked by the Dubs within minutes in a semi-final stroll last month.

But Kilkenny predicts Mayo will try to take on the Dubs at their own game this weekend.

"The last day we were playing against a completely different style. We'll be playing another style the next day," he told RTÉ Sport.

"When you're playing against the defensive teams, that are well-structured, it's very important to be patient on the ball and wait for the right opportunity.

"(Mayo) have so many different styles they can play and their forward line are playing so well. Their runners from defence and their tackling... they know how to win a game."

Dublin have played Mayo five times in the Championship in the last three seasons - the Dubs have won three of those games, including the finals of 2013 and 2016 (replay), and two draws.

In only one of those games, however, the 2015 semi-final replay, have Dublin won by more than a point and Kilkenny expects a similarly tight contest at Croke Park this time around. 

"This Mayo side are very strong," he said. "They're a very physical team and there was only the hop of a ball between us the last two years.

"The games in 2015 and 2016 both went to replays so I'm expecting a very competitive game.

"They performed very well against Kerry. They've played nine competitive games. They have a lot of momentum but we can only focus on ourselves and prepare as best as we can.

"I'm really looking forward to the game because I know it's going to be very close."

Dublin's strength in depth is one of the factors that has propelled them to the brink of three-in-a-row and the Castleknock man admits it's a luxury other teams don't have.

"You know that you can go out there, blood, sweat and tears, give all you can for the team, and know that anyone on that panel can come on and do just as good a job or even better for Dublin.

"That's reassuring and that's the beauty of the team."

Live coverage of Dublin v Mayo in the All-Ireland SFC final (3.30pm) on The Sunday Game Live from 2.15pm on RTÉ2, with live radio commentary on Sunday Sport, RTÉ Radio 1 from 2pm.

Live blog from 1pm on RTE Sport Online and the News Now App.

Highlights of all the day's action on The Sunday Game on RTÉ2 from 9.30pm.