All-Ireland final replay: Kerry 'still believe' they can win - Chrissy McKaigue

A late point earned Dublin a draw in the first match at Croke Park
Dublin and Kerry face each other again at Croke Park on Saturday

Two weeks on from their scintillating All-Ireland final draw, Dublin and Kerry get ready to lock horns once more.

After the final ended in a 1-16 to 1-16 draw, the arch-rivals will resume their quest for the Sam Maguire at Croke Park on Saturday evening.

Having shown great resilience following Jonny Cooper's red card to force a replay, Dublin will be confident of seeing off the Kingdom and completing their 'Drive for Five'.

However, Kerry will be buoyed by the manner in which they dictated much of the first game as they look to end Dublin's near 1,500-day reign as holders.

Ahead of the replay decider, we asked BBC Sport NI pundits Chrissy McKaigue and Enda McGinley for their thoughts on where the game will be won and lost.

Many feel that Kerry have missed their big opportunity. Peter Keane's side were energetic, enterprising and created plenty of scoring chances.

Crucially, though, they spurned a lot of those chances as history-chasing Dublin hit back through a stoppage-time Dean Rock point to force a re-run.

Dean Rock
A late point from Dublin's Dean Rock forced the replay

However, Derry defender Chrissy McKaigue insists the Kerrymen's belief will not have been diminished by their inability to get the job done at the first time of asking.

"I think a lot of people will say Kerry missed a big opportunity, which they probably did," said McKaigue, "but they showed enough to prove that they're every bit as good in a lot of the same departments as Dublin.

"I think Kerry will still believe that they can turn Dublin over.

"The law of averages will tell you that Dublin don't have many off days. They were certainly below-par, but you can't take anything away from Kerry - their intensity and taking the game to Dublin was something we haven't seen many teams do.

"Dublin deserve huge credit for pulling that game out of the fire - they showed the hallmarks of champions, to have the composure to claw that back. The replay has all the signs that it's going to be another close, competitive game."

Given the lofty standards they have set over the past five years, some of Dublin's most influential players - Con O'Callaghan, Brian Fenton and Paul Mannion - endured quiet days at the office a fortnight ago.

Brian Fenton
Fenton is one of Dublin's most influential players

However, All-Ireland winner Enda McGinley feels as though they will have the bit between their teeth as they look to capture an unprecedented fifth championship in a row.

"Kerry will do very, very well to have as big an opportunity coming into the closing stages," said McGinley, three times an All-Ireland winner with Tyrone.

"Can the same happen again? It certainly can, but they need a lot of things to go back in their favour.

"Key Dublin players like Fenton, Mannion, Ciaran Kilkenny and Niall Scully, they can all do better.

"Jim Gavin, to me, sounded angry after the game and he never sounds angry, so I expect Dublin to come out with more aggression and with more intent to stamp their authority on the game."

Kerry were commended for their tactics in the first encounter, but McKaigue believes following the example of Mayo - who neutralised the threat of Jack McCaffrey by putting Paddy Durcan on the wing-back during this year's semi-final - is imperative if the Munster champions are to go one better on Saturday.

Clontarf man McCaffrey kicked 1-3 from half-back, scoring Dublin's only goal after a surging run from deep prised open the Kerry defence.

"It mystified me as to why they didn't follow Mayo's approach," said Slaughtneil's McKaigue.

"They put Durcan on McCaffrey and put him on the back-foot. Kerry didn't give McCaffrey the respect he warranted. When Dublin have the ball, you need to mark him like he's a forward because he's so influential.

"On Saturday, we might see someone like Gavin White given the task of shackling McCaffrey, who's a massive driving force for Dublin going forward."

McKaigue believes Gavin White may be handed a marking job on Dublin's Jack McCaffrey
McKaigue believes Gavin White may be handed a marking job on Dublin's Jack McCaffrey

McGinley echoes McKaigue's comments but argues that, even if the Kingdom manage to nullify McCaffrey, they're unlikely to be afforded as many scoring chances, despite a weakened Dublin defence.

"Dublin have problems in defence," added the Red Hands legend.

"Crucially, as opposed to previous years, they don't have automatic men to come in. Philly McMahon must still be off the pace, Rory O'Carroll must never have reached the level that Gavin requires, and Cian O'Sullivan is struggling with a hamstring injury, because he wasn't risked.

"With those three men not appearing to be ready, the Dublin defence isn't as strong as it once was.

"Kerry got many of their match-ups right, but they didn't get McCaffrey right - and it cost them.

"The Kerry forward line will look to be more ruthless but I'm not expecting them to get the same number of chances. If they do, that Dublin favourites tag is very shaky."

Even if Kerry fail to stop Dublin, this year will, McGinley argues, prove significant in the landscape of championship football.

"I think even the draw two weeks ago was hugely significant," he said.

"We'd lost hope that Mayo could keep tabs with Dublin and Tyrone have failed to measure up in recent years, so it was brilliant to see Kerry going toe-to-toe with Dublin.

"If Kerry go on to beat Dublin, people will be hoping that it will break the aura surrounding Dublin, and that will give everyone else hope.

"Kerry are obviously not newcomers to the scene, so it perhaps shows how desperate we all are that we're hoping that the most decorated team in history beats Dublin, but I think we'd take that at this stage."

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