SUNDAY 2 SEPTEMBER

Online 
Live blog on RTÉ.ie and on the RTÉ News Now app from 11.30am.

Radio
Live and exclusive national commentary on Sunday Sport, RTÉ Radio 1, with commentary from Darragh Maloney and analysis from Eamonn O'Hara and Cora Staunton.

TV
The Sunday Game Live from 2.30pm on RTÉ 2 will have commentary from Ger Canning and Dessie Dolan, with Colm O'Rourke, Joe Brolly and Pat Spillane offering their insights. 

Coverage also on Sky Sports and on GAAGO. Highlights of all senior and minor finals, including the Football Team of the Year announcement, on The Sunday Game, RTÉ2 from 9.30pm. 

HOW TO WATCH THE FINAL WORLDWIDE

'The Dressing Room' hosted by Jacqui Hurley and Darren Frehill, with contributions from Lee Keegan, Cora Staunton, Bernard Flynn and Oisin McConville, plus a very special guest, will preview the final on the RTÉ Player and RTÉ News Now from 11.30am.

Past 5 Championship Meetings
2018
Tyrone 0-14 Dublin 1-14 (All-Ireland quarter-final phase 2)
2017 Dublin 2-17 Tyrone 0-11 (All-Ireland semi-final)
2011 Dublin 0-22 Tyrone 0-15 (All-Ireland quarter-final)
2010 Dublin 1-15 Tyrone 0-13 (All-Ireland quarter-final)
2008 Tyrone 3-14 Dublin 1-08 (All-Ireland quarter-final)

Will the Dubs cut loose?

Dublin eye a sixth success in this decade

The prize for Dublin is to emulate previous sides from Kerry and Wexford who achieved the four-in-a-row. Most observers expect the boys in blue to do just that.

The build-up to this final has lacked the excitement and anticipation one would expect of an occasion that transcends sport.

Through the league and championship, Dublin have playing within themselves; you get the sense there is an extra gear. When Brian Cody’s Kilkenny were winning All-Irelands for fun, Limerick, and more especially Waterford, were cast aside with the minimum of fuss on final day.

Gavin’s Dubs have yet to blow a team away in September. You could say their 0-12 to 0-09 victory over Kerry three years was their most emphatic – the three-point winning margin was most misleading.

Mayo before that and in the two years that followed pushed Dublin all the way; a replay was needed to decide things in 2016.

Tyrone back in the final for the first time in a decade

And now Tyrone, not for the first time in an All-Ireland final, head to Croke Park as underdogs. With Mayo not around at the business end of things this year, the Red Hand are perhaps the best equipped to really put it up to Dublin.

No doubt, they will be energised to make amends for last year’s collapse at the All-Ireland semi-final stage.  The Red Hand arrived with a plan, that was to force their opponents down blind alleys and to keep things tight. An early Con O’Callaghan goal scuppered that approach; Tyrone’s response was pitiful to say the least. Sean Cavanagh called it a day.

We wondered would time be called on Mickey Harte’s tenure? In a decision that surprised some, Harte’s stay was extended to 2020.

Tyrone’s run through the qualifiers and the All-Ireland series has seen them score freely and at times they have looked really good, more so against Dublin late on in their Super 8s encounter and in the opening 10 minutes against Monaghan in the semi-final.

So how can you thwart the champs?

Jim McGuinness recently called on the Red Hand to go ‘ultra defensive’  with 11 men inside the ’45, four on the ’65 in their quest to win back Sam. If they stink the place and win the big prize, well job done, and cue big celebrations on Monday night. 

That approach isn’t finding much favour out there. Yes, the task is daunting, but according to the man who steered Tyrone to All-Ireland U21 glory in 2015, Harte’s men should instead  go man-on-man.

Fergal Logan told RTÉ Sport: "Maybe, it’s time to say, ‘listen, you mark Ciaran Kilkenny until further notice, you mark this man, and 15 mark 15 and let’s just see what happens’".

Joe Brolly also called for a more adventurous approach when he spoke on the RTÉ GAA Podcast:

"They should have a go. You cannot win big in Croke Park without having a go," he said.

"I've been very depressed about Tyrone football since Jim McGuinness came along and Mickey Harte began to copy him," he said.

"I revelled in the great Tyrone teams of the noughties. Brilliant teams, played the game in the right way.

"There were green shoots of recovery against Monaghan in the semi-final. I appreciate they didn't take advantage of the attacking opportunities, they kicked 11 wides in the first half alone, but if they really have a go...

"Although they managed to get through it and no more, it was the first time in a long time that I was excited by a Tyrone team.

"They were winning the ball high up the pitch, which they haven't done for two or three years because they've been dropping back behind the 45. Once they get used to that they are going to be a serious team. 

"I have no doubt there are All-Irelands in the offing. They're strong, powerful and extremely skilled."

The match-up that is most anticipated would be Padraic Hampsey efforts in limiting the influence of Ciarán Kilkenny.  

Kick it in high

If there is a weakness in the Dublin side, it is the high ball in on top of their defence. Galway got some joy out of that approach in the semi-final, with Damien Comer the obvious target. Why the Tribesemen stopped feeding Comer was somewhat baffling.

Richie Donnelly, a formidable presence, is down to start at full-forward for Tyrone. Could Colm Cavanagh end up starting there? A brilliant fielder of the ball, Cavanagh could be the foil for others to find the back of the net in a game where goals will be crucial.

Did you know

There was much action off the pitch before the start of the 1984 semi-final between the two sides.


Tyrone’s last win over Dublin in a competitive game was in the league in 2013.

Dublin have won their seven championship games this year by an average of 13 points, with their scoring average 2-22. Tyrone’s scoring from their nine games this summer is 2-16.

This will be on the Red Hand’s sixth appearance in an All-Ireland final, winning three in 2003, ’05 and ’08 and losing in ’86 and ’95.

This will be the 19th that Mickey Harte a managed a Tyrone team against Dublin in league and championship. It’s 9-6 in Dublin’s favour, with three draws.

Dublin’s last defeat in an All-Ireland final was against Down in 1994. Since then they have beaten Tyrone (1995), Kerry (2011, ’15) and Mayo (2013, ’16 and ’17).

Predictions

Tomás Ó Sé

"The goalkeepers and the forwards will decide the game. When Dublin went after Ruairi Lavelle in the second half against Galway, they got the platform of possession around the middle of the field.

"Niall Morgan and Stephen Cluxton will each have about 10 kickouts where they need to make possessions under pressure. I think Cluxton will possibly come out on that.

"The Dubs’ forwards are more clinical. They had 78% success rate against Galway, compared to Tyrone’s 47% (against Monaghan). Tyrone shot 10 wide and six short in their semi-final."

"Tyrone’s big strength is breaking with pace and the doggedness that they always bring to a match. But Dublin aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty either and I think their whole game is based on workrate for each other.

"Dublin have too many aces up their sleeves compared to Tyrone."

Colm O'Rourke

The former Meath star can't see any complacency setting in when assessing the Dubs' prospects:

"Dublin have been in a similar position for the last few years, whether it was League or Championship and have performed in nearly all of them.

"Mayo are the only team over the last few years who seemed to be able to push them to the limit.

"A lot of their players on the field only have to take one look over at the bench and realise that if they’re not performing, they’re off. That has kept up the level of performance every year.

"When you have players like Cormac Costello, Kevin McManamon and Paul Flynn waiting for their opportunity to come in, there’s no danger (of that).

"There are a very self-motivated bunch and I don’t think there’s any danger of the likes of Cian O’Sullivan or James McCarthy – probably the best player in the country for the last five years – taking it easy." 

Teams

Tyrone's starting XV sees one change from the side that edged out Monaghan.

Lee Brennan, who made way for Mark Bradley 48 minutes into the clash with the Farney, drops to the bench with the latter now in from the start at corner forward.

Mark Bradley

Conor Meyler has returned from injury and is listed among the substitutes.

Dublin manager Jim Gavin has named an unchanged team, though there are a number of positional switches from the semi-final defeat of Galway.

Jonny Cooper is named at centre-half back and James McCarthy at midfield, while Con O’Callaghan and Ciarán Kilkenny have swapped the 11 and 14 jerseys.

Michael Darragh Macauley

Michael Darragh Macauley, who was named to start against Galway but remained on the bench, is again held in reserve.

Tyrone: N Morgan; M McKernan, R McNamee, P Hampsey; T McCann, F Burns, P Harte; C Cavanagh, C McShane; M Donnelly, N Sludden, K McGeary; M Bradley, R Donnelly, C McAliskey

Subs: M O’Neill , L Brennan, R Brennan, M Cassidy, H Loughran, C McCann, D McClure, A McCrory, HP McGeary, C Meyler, R O’Neill.

Dublin: Stephen Cluxton; Philly McMahon, Cian O’Sullivan, Eoin Murchan; John Small, Jonny Cooper, Jack McCaffrey Brian Fenton , James McCarthy; Niall Scully, Con O’Callaghan, Brian Howard; Paul Mannion, Ciarán Kilkenny, Dean Rock.

Weather: It's set to be dry, though probably cloudy at Croker, with any rain not due on the east coast until well after the senior final has finished. For more go to met.ie.