Saturday

Cork v Laois, Semple Stadium, 5pm

Laois are getting into their groove and they play a style of football that can hurt Cork, though it is a style that leaves them somewhat vulnerable. For that reason, I think it will be an open game of football.

The Kingston's kicked 10 points between them against Offaly in the last round, Evan O'Carroll didn’t start and he kicked two points when introduced. Ross Munnelly kicked two points as well, but the key for Laois is John O’Loughlin and Kieran Lillis at midfield.

Can Cork match them there?

I think they can with Ian Maguire, Ruairi Deane and Killian O’Hanlon. The Rebels won’t be happy with their forward play [against Kerry] but the big thing for them is getting another performance.

They can’t be happy with the last few years not getting to the last eight. It’s within them and I think they will win

Verdict: Cork

Cavan v Tyrone, St Tiernach's Park, 5pm

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.

The 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

Verdict: Tyrone

Mayo v Galway, Gaelic Grounds, 7pm

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?

Galway have struggled to find the best way of having a solid defence while still trying to add scores at the other end. Against Roscommon in the Connacht final I think it was a mistake when they swapped Bernard Power with Ruairi Lavelle in goals and the Rossies made hay with the Galway kick-outs.

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.

Verdict: Galway

Sunday

Meath v Clare, Portlaoise, 2pm

An interesting one. Both sides played their trade in Division Two this season and Meath went to Ennis and won by five points. They seem to have their measure of late, but the Royals got one of the worst hidings they have every got last time out against Dublin and managed only four points over 80 minutes.

The big question is where will they be psychologically?

Clare will have nothing to lose and are going well. Manager Colm Collins is on the brink of steering his team to the last eight for the second time.

I think Meath will look at their forward play which was a bit all over the shop against Dublin, but the rest of their play in the first half was quite good, especially the defence.

Clare had a great win against Westmeath, but will be the first to admit it wasn’t their best display and there is plenty of room for improvement. If Meath can focus in on the likes of David Tubridy, Jamie Malone and Gary Brennan, you’d have to fancy them to advance

Verdict: Meath

Tomás Ó Sé was speaking on RTÉ Radio 1's Morning Ireland programme

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