It’s arguably Gary Linekers most famous quote, ‘ Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win’.

Change the numbers and substitute the Dubs for the Germans and you have the likely outcome of this year’s Leinster championship.

Except for this time around the Germans didn’t win, and the Dubs probably will.

The big question for all Meath fans is will we even get to play them.

The heart here says we will take a step closer towards doing that by beating Longford tomorrow, the head inclines towards a different opinion.

Let’s call a spade a shovel Meath are limited while Longfords sum adds up to more than its constituent parts.

One way to look at previewing a game is to pick a combined team from the proposed starting line ups and see which team would have the most on it.

Normally you’d expect Meath to dominate such a selection but two of their automatic selections Donal Keogan and Brian Menton are carrying injuries and not named in the Royal’s starting line up.

For the rest of that mythical team, there’s a debate to be had about virtually every position bar goalkeeper where Longford’s Paddy Collum clearly outshines Meath’s Andy Colgan in both ability and, crucially for a goalkeeper, temperament.

Collum Robbie Smith and Rian Brady would be certain starters on the combined unit, so on that assessment, it is a fifty/fifty game.

Where Longford has the advantage is in impetus, they did fail to win most of their league games but crucially won the vital one against Tipperary and followed that by scoring 25 points in a first round championship win over Carlow.

On the other hand, Meath flopped abysmally against Kildare and are developing a worrying habit of failing to turn up on big days.

The side published is unlikely to be the one that starts, word is while Keogan may not begin, Menton certainly will, and if Mickey Newman does actually start then he is a proven scoring threat at this level.

If the real Meath and the real Longford turn up then Meath wins, but there is no guarantee the real Meath will appear while there is every reason to believe the visitors are on an upward curve and will play at their optimum level.

That’s the conundrum forecasting Meath matches, this team have the potential to blitz teams at or below their level, equally, they have a penchant for dire displays.

The best guess is Meath to edge it with a struggle, but an away win would be a mild surprise and not a seismic shock.

Meath team;

1 Andy Colgan Domhnach Mór Cill Dhéagláin
2 Seamus Lavin Naomh Peadar Dún Bóinne
3 Ronan Ryan Druim Samhraidh
4 Eoin Harkin Dún Samhna
5 Cathal Hickey Baile Sencaill
6 Shane McEntee (Capt.) Naomh Peadar Dún Bóinne
7 Fionn Reilly Gaeil Colmcille
8 Ethan Devine Na Fianna
9 Padraic Harnan Magh nAilbhe
10 Cillian O’Sullivan Magh nAilbhe
11 Bryan McMahon Rath Tó
12 Mathew Costello Domhnach Seachnaill
13 Jordan Morris An Obair
14 Michael Newman Cill Maighneann
15 Thomas O’Reilly Bhulf Tón


16 (GK) Harry Hogan Maigh Dearmhaí
17 Donal Keogan Rath Coinnig
18 Jordan Muldoon Gaeil Colmcille
19 James McEntee Currach Átha
20 Jack O’Connor Currach Átha
21 Joey Wallace Rath Tó
22 James Conlon Naomh Colmcille
23 Eamon Wallace Rath Tó
24 Bryan Menton Domhnach Mór Cill Dhéagláin
25 Jason Scully Sean Chaisleán
26 Darragh Campion Scrín