When, where, what time?
O’Moore Park this afternoon at 1.45pm. Supporters still aren’t permitted to attend though the game is live on GAA Go.
The other game in the group – Cork v Clare – is live on TG4 at the same time.
What’s the team news?
Laois have named a team though it’s unchanged from what was originally listed to start against Cork last weekend. We’d be very surprised if there aren’t changes.
Colm Begley, who went off with a hamstring injury in the first minute against Cork, is listed at centre-back while Mark Barry returns to the starting team with Brian Byrne, who kicked two points from play last week, the one to lose out, supposedly.
Donie Kingston and Evan O’Carroll, who both went off injured against Cork, are included to start – while there are no changes to the 11 players named on the bench.
The Laois team in full is: Niall Corbet; Robbie Pigott, Mark Timmons, Gareth Dillon; Trevor Collins, Colm Begley, Paddy O’Sullivan; Kieran Lillis, John O’Loughlin; Eoin Lowry, Paul Kingston, Danny O’Reilly; Mark Barry, Donie Kingston, Evan O’Carroll. Subs: Matthew Byron, Brian Daly, Gary Walsh, Brian Byrne, Alan Farrell, Eoin Buggie, Seamus Lacey, Michael Keogh, Ross Munnelly, Sean O’Flynn, Benny Carroll
Kildare, meanwhile, show one change from the side that lost to Clare last weekend.
Fergal Conway, a half-time sub in that game, starts instead of last year’s U-20 player Alex Beirne while Eoin Doyle, who was forced off injured last week, is named at centre-back with Shea Ryan going to corner-back.
Kevin Feely is named at centre-forward while among those out injured are Athy duo Niall Kelly and captain David Hyland as well as former AFL player Daniel Flynn.
The Kildare team is: Mark Donnellan; Mark Dempsey, Mick O’Grady, Shea Ryan; Kevin Flynn, Eoin Doyle, Ryan Houlihan; Luke Flynn, Aaron Masterson; Fergal Conway, Kevin Feely, Paul Cribbin; Jimmy Hyland, Darragh Kirwan, Neil Flynn.
Who should we watch out for on the Kildare team?
The classy Kevin Feely from Athy at centre-forward and Jimmy Hyland at corner-forward, star of Kildare’s All Ireland U-20 win in 2018, are worth keeping an eye on while Darragh Kirwan, who has played on U-20 teams against Laois in the past two years, has also made an impression in the full-forward line.
Can Laois actually qualify for the league semi-final?
Yes, Laois still have a chance though it is very much an outside one. They currently have a -15 points difference and zero points from two games but if they were to record a win of at least nine points over Kildare and Clare beat Cork by 11 points then Laois would go through. Alternatively a win over more than nine points for Laois would mean that they’d need Clare to ‘only’ beat Cork by one point less than what Laois win by more than nine.
Given the form of the recent games, that is all highly unlikely so Laois are more than likely going to be facing into a relegation playoff against Down or Westmeath in two weeks time.
What’s Kildare’s form like?
They recorded a mild shock by beating Cork in Thurles in their opening game but were then beaten by Clare in Newbridge last Sunday.
They need to win here to have a chance of reaching the semi-finals – though that may not be enough if Cork beat Clare and Kildare don’t win by enough to go through on scoring difference.
If that happens they will join Laois in the relegation playoffs.
What is Laois’s record against Kildare like?
Very bad in recent years. Laois have failed to win any of the last seven meetings in league or championship with their best result the drawn championship game in 2015.
Laois’s last win in the fixture was in 2010 in Division 2 of the league, their only win of the last 11 games between the counties.
Who’s reffing it?
Paul Falloon from Down is in charge. His last time to officiate a Laois game was the 2019 Division 3 league game away to Offaly.
What are the odds?
Kildare are hot favourites at 1/6 with Laois at 5/1 and the draw at 12-1. On the handicap, Kildare -5 are 10/11 while Laois +5 are evens.
Where can I follow the action?
The game is live on GAA Go and you can expect radio updates from Midlands 103, KFM and RTE. As always, LaoisToday will be live blogging the entire game.