Alan Freeman: showing up well in training.

Mayo are planning ahead

MAYO are expected to use a sweeper in their bid to get by Donegal in tomorrow's All-Ireland quarterfinal and reach the last four for another year.

There is a strong speculation that Kevin McLoughlin may be cast in that role as Donegal bid to avenge that harrowing defeat at the hands of Mayo when they last met in the championship in the 2013 quarterfinal. Mayo lost to Donegal in the All-Ireland final the previous year.

The Mayo bench is also expected to play a big role in Saturday's game, with Alan Freeman, Danny Kirby, Kevin Keane and Chris Barrett likely to feature, Freeman (pictured) and Kirby reported to be showing up particularly well in training.

But the game could hinge on how Mayo contain the twin towers of Michael Murphy and Colm McFadden, and it is in this regard that a sweeper system is likely to be deployed.

The bookies have Mayo odds-on to win this game and local bookmakers in Castlebar have indicated there has been a fair bit of money on the Connaught champions to make it to another All-Ireland semi-final. Mayo lost to Kerry last year in controversial circumstances in a semi-final replay which was moved from Croke Park to Limerick to facilitate an American Football college game.

Meanwhile, the Mayo County Board has urged supporters to arrive early and lend their support to the Mayo junior team, who take on Kerry in the All-Ireland final at 2 p.m. That will be followed by the first of the quaterfinals between Tyrone and Monaghan, with Mayo and Donegal throwing-in at 6 p.m. in a game that is exclusive to Sky Sports.