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We Predict The Outcome Of Every National Football League Division

We Predict The Outcome Of Every National Football League Division
By Mark Farrelly
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Ahead of the start of the Allianz National Football League we preview each division and predict who'll get relegated, who'll get promoted and who the best outside bets are.

Division 1



Their depth chart is just too big for other counties to handle at this stage of the year. Unless some really key players pick up injuries it's hard to see anything but another league title for the Dubs.



The league was a massive boost to Derry's outlook on life last year but they quickly were brought back to earth with a bang come the championship. This time around they look slightly out of their depth; especially with the added challenge of Monaghan and Donegal.

For that reason one would have to consider them favourites to go down.


The second relegation spot is harder to predict. Could Kerry suffer the same fate as reigning champions Donegal in 2013? The demise of their Munster rivals seems more likely. Although they do love a good a league campaign, regardless of their championship form.

Still however, I'm going to tentatively tip them for the drop.

Division 2



Kildare are favourites for promotion back to the top tier and rightly so. I'm wary of reading into their O'Byrne Cup performances too much but feck it, what else have we to go on at this time of year?


The Lily Whites for top spot.


John Evans' side have been steadily building over the last couple of years and they have the tools to kick on for back-to-back promotions this year. If they are focused enough I think they can definitely finish in the top two.

Outside Bet


Cavan could get promoted or they could get relegated. The same way they can kick 10 points against Tyrone in one half and not score against them in the next. Who knows?


If you look at the likes of Tyrone and Donegal, they implemented the blanket defence first and then built an attacking game once they were sure the back door was firmly shut. Cavan may be approaching the second stage of the system, evident from their experimenting with a three man full forward line in some McKenna Cup games.



Like Cavan things could either way for Laois this year but alas they may not have what it takes to stay in Division 2. Looking across the division, they look the least likely of anyone to get promoted and therefore they have to favourites for the drop.


While their championship form in recent years hasn't set the world alight Westmeath have done exceptionally well in the National League, considering. However that form came to an abrupt end in last year's campaign.


They ended their run of defeats, during this year's O'Byrne Cup, but have they enough in a more competitive environment to keep them up?

Division 3



If Armagh don't get promoted from Division 3 then I'll eat Colm O'Rourke's straw hat. End of.


Like Roscommon in the division above, Tipperary showed plenty of promise last year and now it's time for them to kick onto the next level. They'll be hopeful for a decent run in the championship again but in building for the future, Division 2 is surely a must get.


They have a tough task on their hands but at the moment they must be considered slight favourites for that second placed spot.

Outside Bet


At 11/1 to win Division 3, Fermanagh are definitely an outside shout for promotion but they could well be the surprise package of the whole league. Pete McGrath is leaving his stamp on the side and they definitely showed some promise in the McKenna Cup.

Promotion may be a little out of reach this year but if you're looking for an outsider than they may be worth a punt.




Beaten by Carlow, beaten by UCD, beaten by Kildare – the O'Byrne Cup may not be the benchmark but Louth must surely be considered among the favourites to fall into the bottom Division this year.

For them, survival in Division 3 would probably be considered a success.


If I'm being honest I struggled to pick a second team to get relegated so unfortunately for Limerick fans, they've drawn the short straw. A big defeat to UCC in the McGrath Cup didn't help matters.


That being said, I wouldn't be rushing out to put money on them going down.

Division 4



My colleague – from Longford obviously – claims that in early 2013, just before the start of their Division 2 campaign, the team set out on an three year plan to win Division 4.

So far so good.


An Offaly revival of sorts may well be on the cards this year. Their O'Byrne Cup form was solid and they won't fear anyone in the division. If they carry on the year as they started it should be enough to see them finish in the top two.

Outside Bet


Could this be the year that Carlow make it out of Division 4? Probably not but if you're feeling froggy and looking for a big price then they may be worth a shot. They had a fairly decent start to the season and were only beaten by a point by Kildare in the O'Byrne Cup.

Waterford may be a slightly safer option by feck it, you only live once.

Also read: How ‘National Football League’ A County Is Your County?
Also read: 5 Matches To Watch Out For In Division 1 Of The National League
Also read: 5 Matches To Watch Out For In Division 2 Of The National League
Also read: 5 Games To Watch Out For In Division’s 3 & 4 Of The National Football League
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