GAA: What's the lay of the land ahead of this weekend's League fixtures?

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Muireann Duffy
Despite an abrupt end for some to the GAA club championship season, 2020 has provided some blistering contests to date and after a summer deprived of inter-county action, news that National League fixtures were to go ahead despite growing restrictions was welcomed by many.

But following a move to Level 4 restrictions for Donegal, Monaghan and Cavan and a four-week tightening of measures for Northern Ireland, there seems to be a question mark over the resumption of the Allianz Football League and wider GAA action despite the go ahead from officials on both sides of the border.

So far, this weekend's game are due to go ahead, with the League getting back underway with Round 6, ending the seven month drought.

London are out due to travel restrictions and no finals will be played, with the top placed team in each division taking their respective titles.

Before the break, Galway got their noses ahead of Kerry in Division One, with the Tribesmen hoping a recent session with All-Ireland winning manager Jim McGuinness will focus their minds on maintaining that lead.

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On the other end of the table is Meath, with their complete lack of points in the first five rounds ensuring their relegation from the top flight for 2021. Unluckily for Mayo, currently sitting in the dubious position of second from the bottom, they face Galway in their first match back.

Dublin face Meath on Saturday in the hopes of edging in front of Tyrone, also on five points, who face the challenge of Donegal on Sunday.

Division Two is a more contested affair with all bar lonely Fermanagh in contention to make the jump to Division One.

Westmeath get the action underway, facing Laois, with the two counties currently tied on five points a piece.

Another battle to get ahead comes later in the day as Armagh and Roscommon, both on seven points, is pencilled in for 5.30pm.

On Sunday, Fermanagh motivation to pull themselves out of the relegation zone will be an uphill battle as they face Clare with a depleted squad after the return of a number of positive Covid-19 tests.

The match is due to go ahead in Cusack Park in Ennis despite the northern counties woes, with Clare needing a win to get themselves in among the action at the top half of the table.

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In the final Division Two clash of the weekend, Kildare welcome Cavan to Newbridge, with the 2pm match being streamed live on the TG4 website.

An early charge from Cork at the start of the year has made their ambition of promotion from Division Three a much more manageable task in their remaining two fixtures.

Out in front on ten points, the Rebels first face Louth on Saturday, with a loss spelling certain relegation for the latter.

Longford are currently three points adrift, alongside Down, facing Derry and Leitrim respectively.

Leitrim will be trying desperately to keep their heads above the water, with their match against fellow three point holders Tipperary likely to be a do or die contest for Division Three survival.

With London out of Division Four for the remaining two rounds, Wicklow kick off the weekend's action at home to Antrim.

Carlow welcome Sligo in the evening game, before Limerick make a strike for promotion against Wexford on Sunday.

The Treaty men sit just one point ahead of Antrim, already an immense improvement on their second last finish in the 2019 League.

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