WHAT KERRY MUST GET RIGHT
Protect the D and Pepper The D: Kerry know that an aerial bombardment is coming their way and they must protect the D with their lives. Tadgh Morley and Jason Foley have the ability to break even with the Tyrone duo of Donnelly and McShane but naturally they need some help.
The simplest of tactics, like applying huge pressure on the Tyrone kicker, will enable the Kerry full-backs to be extra competitive. Paul Murphy, Gavin Crowley and Gavin White must sprint back as soon as Tyrone launch their kicking game.
If Kerry can apply real pressure in the middle third and protect their full backs, then their attacking game can flourish. Kerry must isolate the Tyrone defenders and adopt a more one-v-one attacking style. Pepper the Tyrone D with quality ball where Geaney and Clifford can thrive.
WHAT TYRONE MUST GET RIGHT
Frees – To score or not to score: Tyrone are very good at engineering scorable frees. Niall Sludden, Conor Meyler, and Darren McCurry have such a low centre of gravity that will make it very hard for Kerry to execute quality tackles.
The Tyrone players don’t need much contact either to convince the referee of their plight. Cathal McShane, Peter Harte and Niall Morgan must convert the majority of these kicks to win and the jury is still out on Niall Morgan; the plus-side on his trotting from his goal is that it gives his team a breather, it eats into the clock and occasionally it’s registered on the scoreboard.
The negative side is that every miss completely de-energises the team and registers zero on the scoreboard. Tyrone can’t energise Kerry with missed frees.
THE DECISIVE DUEL
Paul Geaney v Ronan McNamee: McNamee looks like a traditional full-back. Tall, powerful, and aggressive — yet he looks more comfortable when soloing up the field. He played most of his Sigerson football with UUJ as a midfielder.
He’s manning the square for Tyrone but not on his own. Colm Cavanagh and Kieran McGeary dropping as a smoke-screen to help. McNamee is squaring up against one of the best — Paul Geaney.
The Dingle man can score gracefully off either foot and kick goals at crucial times. He loves the physical battles and will relish a one-v-one with McNamee.
If Geaney and Kerry can engineer the space for this to happen, then Geaney will inspire Kerry. However, if Kerry are slow in their play then McNamee will get his protection, thus allowing Tyrone to frustrate every Kerry forward and go on the counter-attack.