Lonesharkoy previews the Football Qualifier from the Athletic Grounds and he is opting for Clare to turn over Armagh.
Armagh vs Clare
On the footballing side, the value selection this week should be Clare as well, priced at 15/8 for their clash with Armagh tomorrow afternoon. Armagh had a good win over Sligo last time out but it’s not immediately apparent why the Orchard County are favoured here, other than tradition. Clare are a division two side, the quality of the football in Tullamore last Sunday was excellent, and if they had taken their chances in the first half, they could have won well. Put it another way – three times they hit the woodwork going for goals in the first half. Imagine even one of those shots goes in, and they’ve beaten a confident Offaly side by five or six points in their home venue. If that happens, are Clare really going to be 15/8 this week?
Armagh this year looked decent but unspectacular in the league, while their championship form has been broadly along the same lines – consistent with a team that is just about worthy of a slot in the second tier, but who has a lot of improvement to find if they’re to do anything more than fight like demons to avoid relegation.
In the absence of Jamie Clarke, Armagh don’t have forwards of the same calibre as Jamie Malone and Eoin Cleary. Their midfield is decent but not on the same level as Cathal O’Connor and Gary Brennan, and on what’s expecting to be yet another scorching hot afternoon tomorrow, they’ll find Clare’s pace really tricky – not to mention the decent Banner County bench, which came good with four points from play last Sunday.
In the qualifiers, it’s all about positive momentum. Clare have beaten an Offaly team that knew they were in a good place. Armagh beat Westmeath and Sligo sides that were coming off deeply crushing defeats, and neither side showed any real desire to try and achieve something through the backdoor – they were marking time before they got back to their clubs. A very different challenge lies ahead for Armagh now.
Clare to beat Armagh at 15/8, Paddy Power Betfair