Footballers now need to beat Derry

At the start of this current league many Galway supporters believed this current crop of Galway footballers would be good enough to win promotion to division one.

They have been making progress over the past two years, they are the current Connacht champions, and the management team is in-situ for three years, so promotion from division two is a realistic objective.

Despite the significant setback of a narrow defeat to Meath the last day out in round four of the league, that sense of optimism and hope still pervades. However, to secure promotion, the two points on offer against Derry this Sunday in Tuam (2pm ) need to be bagged.

The reality for the Galway senior footballers is that if they are not good enough to beat an inconsistent Derry outfit, who seem to lack real belief in themselves, they are not good enough for division one football in 2018.

Derry are missing a few players for this tie too. Damien Barton is most likely to have to plan without Slaughtneil's Chrissy McKaigue and Brendan Rodgers as they will be involved in the All-Ireland club final against Killarney Crokes on St Patrick's Day.

Worst defensive record

The Red Oak men have the worst defensive record in division two with a minus 22 on their scoring average, having conceded a combined 73 points in their four games to date.

Meath took them down for 3-15, while Kildare and Down notched 1-17 and 1-15 respectively.

When a team has been conceding more than 0-18 per game, opposition forwards should fancy themselves of having an opportunity of racking up a good tally if they go out and take them on with abandon.

Galway forwards such as Shane Walsh, Michael Daly, Barry McHugh, Danny Cummins, Tom Flynn, Eamon Brannigan, and any other maroon panellist who sees action up front in three days' time, should fancy their chances of getting on the score sheet if they take their men on, link play well, and use possession properly.

Sunday should have been a game in which the powerful Damien Comer could thrive, but unfortunately the word is that the Annaghdown man is unlikely to see any league action this year at this juncture due to a broken bone in his foot.

That is a disappointing development for him as he had been in good form early season and it also robs the team of a key scoring threat.

Galway's regular pairing at midfield thus far in the league has been Paul Conroy and Fiontán O'Curraoin, and both men have had shown some really good flashes of play in most of games, but they will be looking to be more consistent and effective for longer periods during the upcoming games.

With only four points separating top from bottom in this division - Kildare with six points and Fermanagh with two points - a team can go quickly from contemplating promotion to battling relegation.

A victory and two points for Kevin Walsh's men this weekend would see them at a minimum in second place in the table on Sunday evening - Kildare are away to Down - but a loss would have them looking over their shoulders.

Calling a winner in any game in this division is hard, but Galway have shown enough in their four games to date to believe they will be good enough to beat the Derry men on home turf on Sunday.

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