Brogan back for Dubs

Reigning Footballer of the Year Alan Brogan returns to the Dublin team for their much-anticipated All-Ireland SFC semi-final clash with Mayo on Sunday.

Reigning Footballer of the Year Alan Brogan returns to the Dublin team for their much-anticipated All-Ireland SFC semi-final clash with Mayo on Sunday.

Brogan slots in at top of the right for the Croke Park encounter (throw-in 3.30pm), having recovered from the troublesome groin injury which he picked up in the Leinster final win over Meath.

Eoghan O'Gara is the player to make way, paying the price for a poor showing against Laois last time out.

In defence, Dubs boss Pat Gilroy has selected Ger Brennan at centre-back with Cian O'Sullivan reverting to left corner back and Philly McMahon dropping to the bench.

There will be pressure on the Brogan brothers, Alan and Bernard, in particular to inspire a Dublin attack that has failed to fire on all cylinders so far this summer.

Previewing the showdown with the Connacht champions, Gilroy said: "There is no question that if we play up front like we did the last day it won't be good enough against Mayo.

"They probably have a better inside forward line than Laois had to punish us and I think they would score more if given the chances.

"The only reason we are still here is because we have worked hard. We have made it difficult for teams but teams are making it difficult for us as well and you have to live with that. That's the modern game.

"We haven't been brilliant, there's no question. But defensively we have been quite good. It's up to us to get a little bit better at the forward end.

"It's the main area for us to improve and to keep the same work ethic that we have, particularly in the last two games, we'd be very happy with a lot of what we did. It's just up front we need to be a bit better."

Dublin, bidding to retain the All-Ireland title for the first time since 1977, have reached the semi-final by beating all-Leinster opposition (Louth, Wexford, Meath, Laois).

If Gilroy's men win on Sunday afternoon, it will set up a repeat of the 1992 All-Ireland final which Donegal won by four points.

DUBLIN (SFC v Mayo): Stephen Cluxton; Mick Fitzsimons, Rory O’Carroll, Cian O’Sullivan; James McCarthy, Ger Brennan, Kevin Nolan; Eamon Fennell, Denis Bastick; Paul Flynn, Michael Darragh Macauley, Bryan Cullen; Alan Brogan, Diarmuid Connolly, Bernard Brogan.

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