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under pressure Kerry legend suggests Dublin could be staring at a relegation battle ahead of trip to Tralee

Dublin were the only Division One side that lost on the opening weekend of the National League after a heavy defeat at the hands of Armagh.

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 Kerry and Dublin face off in the league on Saturday

Kerry and Dublin face off in the league on Saturday

Kerry and Dublin face off in the league on Saturday

Former Kerry footballer Aidan O’Mahony claims Dublin could find themselves facing a relegation battle if they trip up in Tralee against the Kingdom this weekend.

Dublin were the only Division One side that lost on the opening weekend of the National League after a heavy defeat at the hands of Armagh.

Fresh off the back of their draw against Kildare, Kerry come up against Dessie Farrell’s boys in blue this Saturday and O’Mahony believes they could be there for the taking.

"If they don’t beat Kerry and go on to face Mayo, who are a tough draw no matter who they play, Dublin could easily find themselves drawn into a relegation battle," O’Mahony told Paddy Power.

"It is still the biggest game in GAA when Dublin and Kerry meet. Tickets were sold out within two days. Kerry always felt, whatever happens, Dublin can’t beat you at home. Croke Park suited Dublin the last couple of years.

"But we’re talking about a different Dublin team now. They’re in a transition. A lot of people are talking about them coming into the pack. It’s early days and you’ve to be careful what you wish for.

"It’s a six-pointer game for both teams. The last thing we would want is for Dublin to come down here and turn us over."

O’Mahony went on to insists Kerry's failure to build on a four-time half-time lead in their draw with Kildare last weekend does not suggest they have lost their killer instinct.

"I think that’s very harsh to say that," he added. "The biggest thing for jack this year is to unearth new players and grinding out games. I don’t think he’ll be too worried at the moment.

"They seemed to be cruising away last weekend and then it came down to two things; they were trying to hold ball and finish off the game and they let Kildare back into it. Once Kildare got the bit between the teeth after two or three points they finished with the draw, and Kerry were probably happy enough to come away with a draw.

"Some people are overreacting as well. We’re talking about the first round of the league.

"With Dublin coming down the road on Saturday to Tralee, they haven’t won there since 2013, there’s no better game to set their stall.

"It’s a bit unusual that Dublin aren’t coming down as All Ireland champions this weekend and having lost to Armagh, there’s a lot of pressure on them as well. The worrying thing for Dublin is some of their main players aren’t back – the likes of Conor O’Callaghan, Johnny Cooper, McCarthy, Fitzsimons, Paddy Small."

Paddy Power have Kerry as 1/2 favourites to beat Dublin on Saturday.

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