After all their years of success, Dublin find themselves in a very unfamiliar position early in 2022. Having lost each of their opening four league fixtures, Dessie Farrell's side are currently teetering on the brink of relegation.
Their demotion to Division 2 could be confirmed as early as this weekend, with a loss to Tyrone coupled with Kildare beating Armagh ensuring that The Dubs will end their 13-year stay in the top flight.
The most concerning aspect of their form is the fact that few of those four losses have even been close, with Dublin being outplayed by the other premier teams in the country. That doesn't bode well for their meeting with the reigning All-Ireland champions.
Speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes, Marc Ó Sé said he expects Tyrone to pile further misery on the Leinster county on Sunday afternoon.
This is a mouthwatering clash simply due to the pressure Dublin face to get a win. Add to the equation that they’re taking on the All Ireland champions at Healy Park and this is one of the games that all eyes will be on.
I said it all year, it all depends on which Dublin team takes the field. Will they bring Con O’Callaghan or James McCarthy back? I am hearing that Con is going to be absent, as are Eoin Murchan, Paddy Small and Cormac Costello.
I also understand James McCarthy played a league game with his club Ballymun last weekend so he might be back, albeit a bit rusty.
However I feel it’s still a step too far for Dublin. Tyrone will have been disappointed not to have beaten Donegal and will be looking at the league table here. A home win against a vulnerable Dublin team is crucial and I think they will smell blood. It is a Tyrone win for me and that’s my bet of the week.
The other flagship fixture of the weekend will come in Tralee on Saturday evening, with Kerry hosting Mayo.
Those two sides will enter the fixture as arguably the two most in-form teams in the country, adding an extra edge to what is already a fierce rivalry.
Ó Sé is expecting a close game, although he back his old team to get the job done at home.
It will be a packed house at Austin Stack Park, Tralee, for this top-of-the-table clash between two in-form teams.
Kerry had it easy against a disappointing Monaghan team two weeks ago when Rory Beggan coughed up three goals, two of which were gifts. The Kerry men were wondering whether Santa had made a second round trip!
They won’t have it as easy this time as Mayo showed great bouncebackability to recover from that early goal by Armagh. Their defence is rock solid, with Matty Ruane flying in midfield.
I see this game going the distance. It could come down to a midfield battle between Ruan and Diarmuid O’Connor in my view. That said, I give Kerry the win with home advantage.
It is certainly shaping up to be a very interesting weekend of action.