It's all about reaching the expanded All-Ireland quarter-finals this weekend. 

Remember all games must be decided on the day: if teams are level after 70 minutes there will be two periods of ten minutes extra-time, followed by two more of five if necessary, and, finally, a penalty-taking competition.

Cork v Laois, Semple Stadium, 5pm
Cavan v Tyrone, Clones, 5pm
Galway v Mayo, LIT Gaelic Grounds, Limerick, 7pm 

Meath v Clare, O'Moore Park, 2pm

Live blog on RTÉ.ie and the RTÉ News Now App from 4.30pm on Saturday and from 1.30pm on Sunday.

Saturday Sport on RTÉ Radio 1 from 2.45pm will have live commentary on the day's three games, with Brian Carthy and Aidan O'Rourke at Cavan-Tyrone, Darragh Maloney and Michael Meehan at Cork-Laois, while Pauric Lodge and Bernard Flynn will describe the action from the Galway-Mayo clash.

On Sunday Sport, RTÉ Radio 1 from 2pm, Brian Carthy will be joined by John Casey for coverage of Meath-Clare.

Sky Sports Arena will have live coverage of Cavan-Tyrone and Galway-Mayo from 4pm. Meath-Clare on The Sunday Game Live, RTÉ One from 1.40pm, with commentary from Marty Morrissey and Kevin McStay and analysis from Colm O'Rourke and Colm Cooper. The three matches also live on GAAGO

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

Saturday will start cloudy with patchy rain but it will become mostly dry with some sunny spells developing later, especially in the north and east but staying somewhat duller in the southwest. Top temperatures of 16 to 22 degrees, coolest in the north in light northerly breezes. 

Sunday will be dull or cloudy with outbreaks of rain and drizzle but some dry periods as well. Top temperatures will range from 16 in the north to 21 degrees near the south coast in light variable or northwesterly breezes. For more go to

Injuries to the fore ahead of Shannonside showdown

Galway have had the upper hand over Mayo in their last three championship meetings

And so it has come to this for the great Connacht rivals. For the first time since 1999, Galway and Mayo will lock horns in a championship match where the vanquished will bid farewell to summer combat.

And while James Horan's quest to put a new stamp on Mayo will continue, irrespective of what happens at the the LIT Gaelic Grounds, the future is less certain for Kevin Walsh. His time in charge of the Maroon and White has undoubtedly seen a few high points in the shape of Connacht titles, an impressive qualifier win over Donegal and pushing Dublin hard for a good part of the 2018 Division 1 league final.

On the flip side, Tipperary found scores for too easy to get at Croke Park in 2016 and then there were those provincial losses to the Rossies, the second of which saw Walsh's side flop miserably in the second half at Pearse Stadium a month ago

After four seasons in charge, we don't know where Galway are it. We know they have the talent, but they are just not consistent. Their second-half fade-out the last day, if anything, underlined a lack of confidence in their own ability.

A more direct approach into a forward line that may have Damien Comer back in the fold is what's needed. There is also option of Martin Farragher in the front line after showing good form for his club Corofin. Is Paul Conroy ready to return after playing a couple of games for his club St James? It would lessen the setback if Fiontán Ó Curraoin and Ciaran Duggan can't make it.

For Mayo, Donie Vaughan, James Carr, and Seamie O’Shea might be involved, though it's less likely we'll see Lee Keegan and Jason Doherty, though the latter's chances of a swift return are greater following the injury picked up last weekend. 

Cillian O'Connor

Cillian O'Connor saw some game time against Armagh and kicked over a few frees. The question is will he start on Saturday evening?

Tomás Ó Sé's verdict

"Lee Keegan, Matthew Ruane and Diarmuid O'Connor are all out and we are still giving Mayo a chance. Is it reflective of Mayo their never-say-die attitude, or of Galway and the style of football they are playing in the fact they are probably not getting the most out of their players?

"The Tribesmen missed the unpredictability that Damien Comer gives them in attack. Ian Burke was their target man against Roscommon and it didn't work out on a wet day. They need a bit of bulk up there and directness. By not kicking long, it means they are going short and working it along the outskirts of the opposition defence. They need a bit of fire and leadership.

Paddy Durcan, Aidan O’Shea and Darren Coen are the three key players for Mayo. Even though Mayo are going better and I probably would rather them to win because of the style of football they play and could be more dangerous down the road, I think Galway will win it.

"There are a lot of ifs used with Galway and the patience is running out, but they might well just do it."

Who will jump in front?

James Horan led Mayo to three championship wins over Galway in 2011-13-14, while Kevin Walsh got one over the Green and Red in 2016-17-18.

A man who had a foot in both camps 

Things getting heated during the 2018 league clash between the sides

Former Galway and Mayo boss John O'Mahony told RTÉ.ie earlier this week: "This is knock-out football number one and number two, whoever wins knows they will be serious contenders again. It will provide all kinds of drama, I'd imagine."

O'Mahony also observed: "It (the rivalry) has taken a turn for the nasty, particularly in league meetings.

"That could be crucial if it happens this weekend because both teams will need all of their players on the field."

Ulster aristocrats may not have wanted this

Tyrone and Cavan met in a Round 3 qualifier last year

How Cavan would have loved a trip outside the province in their quest to reach the Super 8s. Traditionally, the county would have not feared facing the Red Hand, but the past counts for little and, apart from draw against Tyrone in the Ulster semi-final in 2016, they had little to shout about in this fixture since the turn of the century.

Cavan's last championship victory over Tyrone was in the 1983 Ulster quarter-final.

The scoreline may say different, but Cavan were well beaten by Donegal in the provincial decider. This Clones encounter will tell us much about their powers of recovery. They will not want to end what has been a productive summer on a sour note. 

Much focus will be on Dara McVeety, Gearoid McKiernan and Martin Reilly in their retrieval mission in Cavan.

Tyrone seem to back in the groove and made light of the Kildare challenge last Saturday. 

They are seeking to reach the All-Ireland quarters for the 15th time in 19 seasons. Indeed, success over Cavan will pit them in Dublin's group in the Super 8s and a home date with the All-Ireland champions on the August Bank Holiday weekend.

Tomás Ó Sé's verdict

"The general talk is that Tyrone have Cavan's card. Under Mickey Graham however, Cavan are a different team. He is an excellent coach, but if Mickey Harte’s side play to their full ability, it is hard to look beyond them.

They are sticking to their defensive set-up and it will be good enough to beat 95% of the teams, and I think this will be another example of that.

"Tyrone will smother the space Cavan love and look to keep the likes of Dara McVeety, Gearoid McKiernan (above) and Martin Reilly out of the game. They will squeeze on Cavan's kick-outs. It's vital for the Breffni men to stick with Tyrone for the opening 20 minutes and maybe get ahead. If they do, they have a chance.

Tyrone are improving. They will have to tweak their tactics at some stage down the line, but for this weekend it will be business as usual and I expect them to prevail."

Who will want to face the Dubs in Croker next weekend?

Cork ponder what might have been after the Minster final

That's the prize facing Cork or Laois as they meet in the championship for the first time,

The Rebels were far from disgraced in losing the Munster final to Kerry, while Laois have picked things up since they lost to Meath in Leinster with wins over Derry and Offaly.

This has the makings of a cracking contest with the likes of Ian Maguire, Ruairi Deane and Killian O'Hanlon trying to get the better of the Kingston brothers, John O'Loughlin and Kieran Lillis.

Donie Kingston

Cork have scored a total of six goals in their two championship matches so far, while Laos, after conceding three against Meath have kept the gate closed since then.

Cork: Mark White; Nathan Walsh, James Loughrey, Kevin Flahive; Liam O'Donovan, Thomas Clancy, Mattie Taylor; Ian Maguire, Killian O'Hanlon; Kevin O'Driscoll, Sean White, Ruairi Deane; Luke Connolly, Brian Hurley, Mark Collins.

Laois: Graham Brody; Stephen Attride, Denis Booth, Gareth Dillon; Trevor Collins, Robert Pigott, Patrick O'Sullivan; John O'Loughlin, Kieran Lillis; Daniel O'Reilly, Donie Kingston, Marty Scully; Ross Munnelly, Colm Murphy, Paul Kingston.

Meath response v Banner rising

Meath boss Andy McEntee

In truth, Meath did a lot of good things in the Leinster final, but crucially they couldn't put the ball between the posts when in decent positions. Like Cavan, they won't want their season to peter out.

At the start of the year, they were picked out as a side that could reach the Super 8s.

They are close to attaining that and if minds are focused and Andy McEntee forgets about rows with a local journalist, they have it in them to be preparing for a game against Donegal on Sunday week.

Clare#s Gary Brennan

Clare's stuttering performance against Waterford would not have inspired that they would still be in the championship race at this stage.

However, a strong second half against Kerry and wins over Leitrim and Westmeath bode well that Colm Collins can steer the Banner to a second quarter-final championship appearance. 

It's a first ever meeting of Meath and Clare in the championship.

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