Kevin Walsh is confident Galway can retain their Connacht title and take the direct route to the All-Ireland SFC quarter-finals as they prepare to take on Roscommon this weekend.

After a long period of Mayo dominance, the two sides are meeting in the provincial decider for the fourth year in a row. 

The Tribesmen won in 2016 and last year but slipped up against the Rossies in 2017. That defeat came at their home ground of Pearse Stadium, again the venue on Sunday.

Walsh refuses to consider a repeat of that upset however, and is focused on securing the county's first back-to-back Nestor Cups since the team he starred on in 2002-3.

"We are reigning Connacht champions. We have to be positive in that," he told RTÉ Sport.

"We're heading for two in a row, which hasn't been done for a while in Galway.

"It's important and it's also the quickest route to the Super 8s.

"We feel we're in with a great chance if we perform."

Roscommon beat Mayo in the semi-final in Castlebar

Walsh insists he isn't surprised to be facing Roscommon again rather than Mayo, who appeared rejuvenated by the return of James Horan as manager when claiming the Allianz Football League title in the spring.

"We weren't preparing for any one team," said Walsh. "Roscommon have been there the last four years.

It was always going to be a 50-50 game. Roscommon shaded it on the day.

"There's a lot of talk about a small province but the quality of Division 1 sides in Connacht is tough and has been for the last four or five years."

Damien Comer is still 'a week or two away' from a comeback

Galway finished joint-fourth in the top flight despite a raft of injuries to key men like Damien Comer, Adrian Varley, Ciarán Duggan, Declan Kyne, Cillian McDaid, Paul Conroy, Peter Cooke and Paul Conroy.

Varley (shoulder) and Kyne (ankle) are back in contention but the game is expected to come to soon for captain Comer (ankle), Cooke (foot), Duggan (knee) and Conroy (broken leg).

Walsh has been heartened however by the opportunity those players' misfortune has provided to broaden the playing pool.

"We have a deep panel now. That's probably our biggest strength," he said.

"Fifteen people aren't going to win you a game any more. You have to have 26.

"Nobody knows who's starting, nobody knows who's going to finish and everyone can step in and take over another man's job.

"If we were to be asked two years whether we would stay in Division 1 if we had seven or eight injuries of big names, I think there would be only one answer.

"The guys were quite good this year and it was great to have Division 1 status held with one game to go.

"There's good positivity with the young lads coming in and hopefully with the injuries coming back, it'll get stronger."

Follow Galway v Roscommon via our live blog on RTÉ.ie/sport and the News Now app, watch live on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player and listen to live commentary on RTÉ Radio 1's Sunday Sport