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Brendan Devenney worried about Donegal balance since McBrearty was ruled out


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This year the Ulster Championship draw kept Donegal and Tyrone apart. 

But thanks to the new Super 8s structure in the latter part of the All Ireland, the two counties ended up being pitched together and as it turns out, their head to head this weekend will decide which county advances to the semi finals.

At present, both teams are on two points apiece behind Dublin in Group 2 with Tyrone holding the points difference advantage over Donegal.

However, victory for Declan Bonner's side will see the reigning Ulster champions Donegal leapfrog Tyrone into the last-four of the All Ireland.

 

Either way, separating Tyrone and Donegal won't be easy and to try and gauge how the match will go, Dave McIntyre was joined by former Donegal forward Brendan Devenney and ex-Tyrone All Ireland winner Brian McGuigan.  

"Between the last few games, Tyrone have certainly had the upper hand in terms of Championship," said Devenney of the head to heads.

"Tyrone are kind of moving up the gears and Donegal are trying to catch up particularly after the hammering of last year."  

McGuigan feels Donegal have the potential to beat Tyrone even though they're missing key players including Paddy McBrearty and Eoghan 'Ban' Gallagher. 

"I think without those two players, who'd be big players for them, I don't think they are [All Ireland contenders] but they have the potential to beat Tyrone on Sunday," he said.

"The thing about it is, they'll have to play Michael Murphy up front at certain stages but they will have to bring him out and the times they bring him out, I think the only man that affects is Jamie Brennan because I think he needs a foil in there with him. But when he's expected to be the go-to man in there, he's not as effective." 

Adding onto that point, with Murphy's skill inside and outside the square and the absence of McBrearty's absence, Devenney believes Donegal have become a bit unbalanced.

"Goals are going to be what decides it, for me. If Donegal can get that long ball going in," he said.

"The problem is that Murphy is the best at delivering that ball as well and this is the thing about having McBrearty inside. The whole shape of the team now is a bit unbalanced without McBrearty."


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