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Published: 07:35 | 17/9/16

Dublin unchanged for All-Ireland final


Dublin manager Jim Gavin has picked an unchanged starting line-up for this Sunday's All-Ireland Senior Football Final against Mayo at Croke Park.

James McCarthy, who missed the Leinster final win over Westmeath and the All-Ireland quarter-final win over Donegal with a knee injury, has recovered from the shoulder knock he sustained in the 0-22 to 2-14 semi-final win over Kerry on 28 August.

Kevin McManamon, David Byrne and John Small will all make their first starts in an All-Ireland final, although McManamon came of the bench to feature in the 2011, 2013 and 2015 wins.

Former Mayo manager James Horan expects the key battle at Croke Park to be between Dublin's fiery forward Diarmuid Connolly and Mayo defender Lee Keegan.

"Diarmuid Connolly is such a good player. You saw him in the 74th minute against Kerry kicking that score so the conditioning, the skill level, everything is there to do that," Horan told gaa.ie.

"Lee Keegan, anyone that comes up against Lee, he's faster, stronger, better, and when he goes onto someone it can be intimidating. He's got courage to a fault almost so I think they'll match up."

Connolly was sent off in Dublin's All-Ireland quarter-final win over Donegal, and former Dublin player Ray Cosgrove says Gavin and his management team need to ensure the St Vincent's clubman completes the full 70 minutes on Sunday.

"I definitely think with the management team, the likes of Declan [Darcy] and Deego [Mick Deegan] there, they’d be cute enough and savvy enough to be getting the message across," he told gaa.ie.

"You are going to be targeted, you are the most talented footballer in Dublin, if not in Ireland, deal with it, move on and let the scoreboard do the talking for you.’"

Dublin (SFC Final v Mayo): Stephen Cluxton; David Byrne, Jonny Copper, Philly McMahon; James McCarthy, Cian O'Sullivan, John Small; Brian Fenton, Michael D. MacAuley; Paul Flynn, Kevin McManamon, Caran Kilkenny; Dean Rock, Diarmuid Connolly, Bernard Brogan.

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