The new format for the qualifiers have added an extra layer of intrigue to this year's championship.
With Division 3 and 4 teams now consigned to the Tailteann Cup after exiting their provincial championships, the days of mismatched ties in the backdoor are now largely gone.
This weekend will see a number of heavyweight clashes, including the meeting of old rivals Tyrone and Armagh. As well as that, Mayo will host Monaghan in another meeting between a pair of Division 1 sides.
You would fancy Mayo to get the job done against any visitor to Castlebar, although is unlikely to be a straightforward game. Not only are their Ulster opponents a good side, but James Horan's squad has also been depleted by injuries.
Peter Canavan fancies Monaghan to upset Mayo
As a result, things could be set up for an away victory on Saturday afternoon.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Peter Canavan said he thinks Monaghan have every chance of beating Mayo in their qualifier clash.
James Horan will be worried about the injury list, as they enter a win-or-bust tie.
I think the westerners will need everything they have to get the better of Monaghan, and I give the Farney County a great chance in Castlebar on Saturday.
So often when going into the lions' den, this Monaghan team produce their best football. They have done it time and time again in the National League, and have won big championship matches on the road.
That's what is facing them here...
If they can prevent Mayo from raising green flags, I give Monaghan a great chance.
In Darren Hughes and Conor McManus, they have two exceptional players that have given great service to their county. But those players are not going to be around forever. When you have players of that calibre, you want to make the most of it.
And days like Saturday are when they can deliver big victories.The Ulster side are more than capable of going down to MacHale Park and producing a big performance. I would not be surprised if they came out of Castlebar with a victory, when you consider the extent of the Mayo injury list.
Injuries could well play a deciding factor here, although we are sure to see an entertaining game regardless of the personnel that take to the pitch.
For Mayo, a first round qualifier exit would be a disaster after reaching an All-Ireland final in 2021 and beginning this year with a strong league campaign.