Posted by Shane Stapleton

Mickey Harte, Ciaran Whelan, Donie Shine, Colm Cooper and Johnny Doyle put the reputations on the line ahead of the weekend's games — with more of them backing Tyrone than Donegal!

2013 Ambassador PredictionsThe big question this weekend is whether Donegal can keep that freight train moving forward at the same speed in 2013. 

Since winning the All-Ireland, the conspiracy theorists have had plenty to push their cases. Number one: it’s desperately difficult to defend Sam — indeed it’s been done just once since 1990; two: Jim McGuinness is now juggling duties between Donegal and Celtic FC; three: the side have been relegated from the top tier of the league.

We asked our ambassadors who they fancied for the big game of the weekend and the other five clashes — and you can too to be in with a chance of winning 2 VIP tickets for the All-Ireland final by playing Win, Lose or Draw.

Donegal v Tyrone Predictions

Donie Shine and Colm ‘Gooch’ Cooper don’t buy it the conspiracies: they have gone with the class of Donegal to once more come through. But these two men are in the minority because firstly Ciaran Whelan has gone against the Ti Chonaill men.

Surprise surprise, Mickey Harte has backed his own men to beat the reigning back-to-back Ulster champions on their own patch in Ballybofey, while Kildare sharpshooter Johnny Doyle is another who has put his neck on the line by tipping the Red Hands. 

“I’m just not sure if Donegal won’t have a hangover period. They were relegated while Tyrone have a bit of form. It will be tight one way or the other. But I can’t sit on the fence so I’m going with Tyrone,“ Doyle told us.

Mickey Harte

Tyrone

Colm Cooper

Donegal

Ciarán Whelan

Tyrone

Johnny Doyle

Tyrone

Donie Shine

Donegal

Laois v Louth Predictions

Harte continues to buck the trend in his predictions for Win, Lose or Draw by tipping a draw — generally 15/2 — as Louth travel to Laois in one of the other weekend fixtures. 

"I just see this one going down to the wire, Laois have been slow starters come championship time and Louth have nothing to lose as underdogs — it will be nip and tuck. I'm going for the draw although Ciaran went for the draw with Galway v Mayo last week and we saw what happened there," Mickey told us.

Mickey Harte

Draw

Colm Cooper

Laois

Ciarán Whelan

Laois

Johnny Doyle

Louth

Donie Shine

Laois

Wicklow v Longford Predictions

Indeed Ciarán has avoided the perilous draw prediction this weekend and has taken quite a shine to Longford, who visit Wicklow. Not one of our five ambassadors has backed the Garden County this week.

“Longford under Glenn Ryan are making progress each year – he is going to be one of the top inter-county managers in time. They will be too well drilled for Wicklow this weekend and could cause an upset later in the Leinster Championship,” Whelan told us. 

Mickey Harte

Longford

Colm Cooper

Longford

Ciarán Whelan

Longford

Johnny Doyle

Longford

Donie Shine

Longford

Cork v Limerick Predictions

There are two games in Munster this weekend and very few eyebrows will be raised as each of our ambassadors has tipped Cork (with some new names on show) to beat Limerick.

Mickey Harte

Cork

Colm Cooper

Cork

Ciarán Whelan

Cork

Johnny Doyle

Cork

Donie Shine

Cork

Kerry v Tipperary Predictions

Premier boss Peter Creedon says the Premier will one day beat the Kingdom in the championship — but clearly Gooch and our other experts don’t think 2013 is when it will happen. 

Mickey Harte

Kerry

Colm Cooper

Kerry

Ciarán Whelan

Kerry

Johnny Doyle

Kerry

Donie Shine

Kerry

London v Sligo Predictions

Connacht provides just a single tie for us to get our teeth into as London comes calling for Sligo at Ruislip. 2010 provincial champion Donie Shine — who kicked 10 points in that final win over the Yeats County — puts his money with Sligo and so do the rest of our experts. Beware the Exiles though, as they took current Connacht kingpins Mayo to extra time in 2011.

Mickey Harte

Sligo

Colm Cooper

Sligo

Ciarán Whelan

Sligo

Johnny Doyle

Sligo

Donie Shine

Sligo

Think you know better than our ambassadors? Why not play our Win, Lose or Draw prediction game to be in with a chance to win VIP tickets to the All-Ireland final.