With two rounds to go, (three for some in Division 4) John Fogarty considers the lie of the land across the Allianz Football League.
A point against their Galway hosts in Salthill will ensure Dublin reach a sixth straight final under Jim Gavin.
Galway are already through as Monaghan are the only team that can join them on 10 points, but Kevin Walsh’s side would edge them on head-to-head.
The other six teams are not yet safe although Monaghan (six points) should avoid the trouble.
Pointless Kildare have a slim chance of surviving and will hope beating Kerry in Tralee on Saturday will be the first of two wins and then pray Donegal lose their last two games so that they stay up on the head-to-head differential against Kerry.
A point against bogey team Roscommon will earn Cavan a quick return to Division 1, although the Rossies know a win could prove crucial in their promotion run if they and the Breffni men alone both finish up on the same number of points.
As they face Cavan in the final round, Tipperary know three points from the final two matches would probably send them up.
Cork have an outside opportunity for promotion but taking something from Saturday’s home game with Clare will at least save their Division 2 status.
Louth are dead men walking and Meath will hope to put as much distance from them as possible in Drogheda this weekend. Defeats for Down and Clare on Sunday put them in peril.
Fermanagh’s drive for Division 2 hit a pothole losing to Westmeath last weekend and a defeat to Armagh will do further damage to their cause.
Armagh are all but back in Division 2 regardless of what happens in Enniskillen as they have soon-to-be-doomed Wexford in the last round.
The winners of Longford-Westmeath will stay in the promotion hunt — both would if their game ends in a draw.
One of Sligo, Derry, and Offaly will fall with Wexford, although Derry’s score difference isn’t as bad as the others and they have Wexford in Celtic Park on Sunday.
Make this weekend’s trip to Antrim a winning one and flawless Carlow will have Division 3 football to look forward to in 2018.
Laois, who are also 100% for their five games thus far, are not in action until the following weekend when they face Carlow, which could well turn out to be next month’s Division 4 final.
Win their last three games and Antrim could spoil the Leinster party, but Laois, as well as Carlow, are in their “in” tray.
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