Saturday January 25
Derry v Leitrim, Celtic Park, 5pm
Cork v Offaly, Pairc Ui Chaoimh, 6pm
Sunday January 26
Longford v Louth, Glennon Brothers Pearse Park, 2pm
Tipperary v Down, Clonmel, 2pm
Courtesy of GAA.ie
A repeat of the 2019 Allianz Football League Division Four Final is the curtain raiser for a typically competitive Division Three.
With a new Championship format the race for the top two spots begins with vital matches taking place every weekend.
Terry Hyland enjoyed a productive start as Leitrim manager securing promotion with a couple of matches to spare.
Derry, though, most certainly set the standard at Division Four level last year and they will feel that Division Two status can be attained.
While Slaughtneil’s AIB All Ireland Club Hurling campaign did impact Derry’s preparations, Rory Gallagher can still select a decent team for this Saturday’s opener.
Just over 300 miles away Cork host Offaly on the banks of the Lee.
Ronan McCarthy’s charges endured a relegation in 2019, but summoned some defiant displays in the Championship, while All Ireland underage glory also hinted at Cork’s potential.
Cian O’Neill’s addition to the backroom team is another talking point, but Cork won’t want to stay in Division Three for long.
John Maughan has extracted some encouraging performances from Offaly and this clash against Cork will be demanding.
Buoyed up by the O’Byrne Cup triumph, Longford will be striving to produce another good performance at home to Louth.
Last year Wayne Kierans’ Louth did enjoy some splendid victories in the League so the midlanders will treat them with the utmost respect.
Tipperary, under new manager David Power, face Down, who are expected to be minus their Kilcoo contingent.
Down were in the promotion hunt last year, but they can expect a stern test in Clonmel even against a Tipperary team without the gifted Michael Quinlivan.
CORK (v Offaly): Micheal Martin; Seanie Powter, Sam Ryan, Paul Ring; Kevin Crowley, Liam O’Donovan, Mattie Taylor; Ian Maguire, Killian O’Hanlon; Brian Hartnett, Sean White, Ruairi Deane; Damien Gore, Ciaran Sheehan, Cathal O’Mahony.
OFFALY (v Cork): Paddy Dunican; Declan Hogan, Eoin Rigney, Niall Darby; Eoin Carroll, David Dempsey, Jordan Hayes; Cathal Mangan, Michael Brazil; Shane Horan, Ruairi McNamee, Conor McNamee; Anton Sullivan, Bernard Allen, Cian Johnson.
TIPPERARY (v Down): Evan Comerford; Alan Campbell, John Meagher, Colm O’Shaughnessy; Emmet Moloney, Robbie Kiely, Daire Brennan; Steven O’Brien, Conal Kennedy; Bill Maher, Jack Kennedy, Kevin Fahey; Liam Boland, Conor Sweeney, Brian Fox.
DOWN (v Tipperary): Rory Burns; Peter Fegan, Brendan McArdle, Ryan McAleenan; Gerard Collins, Darren O’Hagan, Shane Annett; Johnny Flynn, Sean Dornan; Barry O’Hagan, Conor Poland, Daniel Guinness; Owen McCabe, Donal O’Hare, Corey Quinn.