Westmeath footballers take to the road on Sunday bidding to make it three wins out of three in a game fixed for Tuam Stadium with a 2pm throw-in. Pat Flanagan’s men have made the perfect start to their league campaign bagging four valuable league points, but there is nothing easy in any of the remaining games.
Injuries to key players plus the fact that Galway have no option but to come out fighting following their dismal showing against Louth make this an even trickier assignment.
A late Paul Bannon point was the difference between the sides when they met in last year’s campaign. Westmeath are undoubtedly stronger this year and confidence within the squad is unquestionably higher.
With a full hand to pick from the Lake County men would be well positioned to continue their winning ways against a current Galway side that have a tendency to blow hot and cold.
Dessie Dolan and Paul Sharry are ruled out through injury and their absence could yet be a telling factor come Sunday. Sharry in particular leaves a big void to be filled at centre back while Dessie’s experience and vision will be sorely missed up front. Doran Harte returns to the half-back line following suspension while Ciaran Curley starts in attack.
Galway boss Alan Mulholland has made five changes to his team for this weekend’s clash. Home advantage is a major plus in the league and with the game scheduled for the spiritual home of Galway football, Tuam Stadium, Westmeath can expect a backlash.
Westmeath’s record on the road has not been great in recent seasons though they did scrape a win away to Longford in their last outing. Flanagan will need to see an improved performance if we are to remain unbeaten heading into round four.
While a win on the road is very much possible I suspect that the Tribesmen might just do enough to restore some pride on home soil.