Super 8s: Donegal fancied to beat Meath in third meeting of the season

Tempers flare in the Division Two League final won narrowly by Donegal
Donegal had to work hard to beat Meath in both their Division Two meetings this year
All-Ireland Super 8s: Donegal v Meath
Dates: Sunday 7 July Venue: Ballybofey Throw-ins: 14:00 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Ulster MW and the BBC Sport website from 13:45 BST

Donegal's clash with Meath in their Super 8 opener in Ballybofey in Sunday will be the third meeting between the counties this season.

Declan Bonner's side were decidedly fortunate to beat Andy McEntee's men in February as a lucky late goal saw Donegal snatch a narrow victory.

The two sides went on to reach the Division Two decider in late March.

Michael Murphy's brilliance helped Donegal come from 1-6 to 0-1 down to win 1-17 to 1-15.

Full-forward Michael Newman caused the Donegal defence huge early problems as his side enjoyed that early eight-point lead in that game and he will lead the Royals' attack again on Sunday.

Granted, Donegal's form since then looks considerably better than Meath's with Bonner's side having followed their surprise Ulster semi-final win over Tyrone with a 1-24 to 2-16 scoreline against Cavan in the decider which did not reflect their dominance of the contest.

After edging out Offaly by only two points in the Leinster preliminary round, Meath then earned comfortable wins over Carlow and Laois only to be totally outclassed on a 1-17 to 0-4 scoreline by Dublin in the provincial decider.

With Eoghan Ban Gallagher, Paddy McGrath, Ryan McHugh and Jamie Brennan having excelled this summer along with inevitably, Murphy and Patrick McBrearty, Donegal have had impressive performers all over the pitch.

Gallagher and Brennan, in particular, have shown an ability to break at speed while goalkeeper Shaun Patton's accurate kickouts have also been a boon for Bonner.

Meath will surely play better than they did against the Dubs and manager Andy McEntee has named the same side that beat Clare to reach the Super 8s, but Donegal should be good enough to take the victory although it may be closer that some of the home are expecting.

Meath: Colgan; Lavin, McGill, Gallagher; Keogan, Harnan, McCoy; Menton, McEntee; Devine, McMahon, McGovern; O'Sullivan, Newman, Conlon.