SATURDAY 11 AUGUST

Throw-in 
Croke Park, 5pm 

The game will be preceded by the minor semi-final between Galway and Meath at 3pm.

Online
Live blog on RTÉ.ie and on the RTÉ News Now app from 4pm.

Radio 
Live and exclusive national commentary on Saturday Sport, RTÉ Radio 1, with commentary from Pauric Lodge and Bernard Flynn.

TV
The Saturday Game from 4.15pm will have commentary from Ger Canning and Dessie Dolan and analysis from Colm O'Rourke, Pat Spillane and Sean Cavanagh. Coverage also on Sky Sports and GAAGO (overseas only).

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

Once familiar foes

Dublin and Galway meet in the first of the All-Ireland SFC semi-finals on Saturday. 

The sides have encountered each other nine times previously in the Championship (Dublin winning seven) but have not crossed paths since the infamous final of 1983 when the Dubs prevailed despite finishing with 12 men.

Six of their meetings have been in finals, five of which have been won by Dublin, and Galway haven't got the better of the Metropolitans since the 1934 decider.

If they can end that long wait this weekend it will be a major shock.

Last five Championship meetings
1983: Dublin 1-10 Galway 1-8 (All-Ireland final)
1976: Dublin 1-8 Galway 0-8 (All-Ireland semi-final)
1974: Dublin 0-14 Galway 1-6 (All-Ireland final)
1963: Dublin 1-9 Galway 0-10 (All-Ireland final)
1958: Dublin 2-7 Galway 1-9 (All-Ireland semi-final)

Fantastic four in sight?

Can anyone stop the Dubs' relentless march to four in a row?

Retaining their title this year would make them the joint most successful team of all time, equalling the feats of Wexford (1915-18) and Kerry (1929-32 and 78-81).

They remain the only side with a 100% record in this year's Championship and indeed have lost only one game under Jim Gavin since he took over for 2013 - the 2014 semi-final to Donegal.

Tyrone got closest of the challengers to date -  a creditable 1-14 to 0-14 defeat in Omagh - but Dublin's average margin of victory is 14 points. They had 18 to spare in accounting for Laois in the Leinster final.

Galway topped the Division 1 league table in Spring, Dublin losing to Monaghan after a 0-13 apiece draw in Pearse Stadium, but Gavin's men won a well-contested final 0-18 to 0-14.

That was a superb effort for a team just promoted back to the top-flight and raised expectations that Kevin Walsh's side could challenge for Sam Maguire.

Not all of their fans were enamoured with the counter-attacking style Galway employed but beating Mayo and Roscommon on the way to reclaiming the Connacht title burnished their credentials and when Kerry and Kildare were dispatched in the Super 8s, any grumbles were long forgotten.

Then came the dispiriting double-scores home defeat to Monaghan last week and now it's hard to know what to make of their prospects of an upset.

Conspiracy theories about Galway not being overly pushed about winning fail to convince. If Donegal taught us anything in 2014 it's that catching the Dubs takes so much out of you that it is far preferable to do so in the final.

More likely, a touch of complacency over early qualification, married with the Farney County's greater need to win, can explain the result.

You can expect a much greater challenge at Croke Park but whether it is enough to take down Dublin is another matter.

Team news

 

 

Having made nine changes for the dead rubber with Roscommon, Jim Gavin goes with pretty close to the same XV that started against Tyrone.

There are just two changes, Michael Fitzsimons and Michael Darragh Macauley come in for Eoin Murchan and John Small.

Cormac Costello remains on the bench despite scoring 0-07 from play against the Rossies.

Kevin Walsh makes one change to the team that was well beaten in Salthill last week, Patrick Sweeney replacing Adrian Varley at centre-forward.

Dublin: Stephen Cluxton; Michael Fitzsimons, Cian O'Sullivan, Philly MacMahon; Jonny Cooper, James McCarthy, Jack McCaffrey; Brian Fenton, Michael Darragh Macauley; Niall Scully, Ciaran Kilkenny, Brian Howard; Con O'Callaghan, Dean Rock, Paul Mannion.

Galway: Ruairí Lavelle; Declan Kyne, Seán Andy Ó Ceallaigh, Eoghan Kerin; Cathal Sweeney, Gareth Bradshaw, Gary O'Donnell; Peter Cooke, Thomas Flynn; Shane Walsh, Patrick Sweeney, Seán Kelly; Ian Burke, Damien Comer, Eamonn Brannigan.

Philip Jordan's verdict

"Galway had such momentum – it was only their second loss of the year – and it will be interesting to see how they react to it.

"The fact they are playing Dublin will help focus the mind, and few give them a realistic chance of turning over Jim Gavin’s side.

"The key for them is a good start. They tend to perform better in the second half of matches, but a poor opening 35 minutes won’t cut the mustard at Croke Park.

"They must keep the contest alive and in fairness to Galway, their gameplan is about containment. Aside from the double-score defeat to Monaghan, you don’t expect the Tribesmen to ship too many scores.

"The one thing that gives a degree of hope is that the Dubs don’t seem to be blowing teams away like they used to. The Super 8s probably changed their outlook slightly and maybe they are trying to peak differently this year.

"Galway have real quality attackers in Damien Comer, Ian Burke and Shane Walsh, but the three have yet to fully click together in Championship.

"I can see the Connacht champions being in the game with 15 minutes to go, but the Dubs to pull away down the stretch."

Weather
Cloud will continue to thicken with a band of rain moving in from the southwest during the early afternoon. Moderate south to southeast winds which may be gusty at times. Highest temperatures of 19 or 20 degrees. For more see met.ie