Waterford v Limerick: Limerick to win – Evens
This is a real do or die affair for The Déise as they welcome the reigning All-Ireland champions Limerick to the tight surrounds of Walsh Park. Waterford have lost their first two games of the Munster Championship to Clare and Tipperary, and they know nothing but a victory will keep their hopes of progressing this summer alive.
It’s the nature of the defeat to Tipperary that will worry Páraic Fanning the most, after they failed to recover from opening day jitters.
Waterford lost Conor Gleeson to a red card in the first half and despite a spirited response at the start of the second period, which saw them close to within three points, they couldn’t stop The Premier County romping to an 18-point victory.
These are desperate times for The Déise and it doesn’t get any easier when a smarting Limerick come to town. John Kiely’s charges were caught on the hop by Cork in their debut Championship fixture as All-Ireland champions and they’ll be determined not to fall into the same hole as their opponents on Sunday.
The Treaty County will be without the services of attacker David Dempsey and there’s also a doubt over Seamus Flanagan, but the return of the talismanic Tom Condon is certainly a boost.
While both sides come into this on the back of disappointing defeats, we fancy Limerick’s powers of recovery more and they should have a few points to spare in the end.
Clare v Tipperary: Tipperary to win – 10/11
This big question heading into this razor-tight affair is, can Tipperary do what has never been done before?
That’s because no side has been able to take even a single point off Clare in Ennis since the new Munster Championship system was introduced. Liam Sheedy’s side picked off an incredible total of 4-58 in their two Championship ties to date, but those scores were plundered on the wide-open plains of Páirc Uí Chaoimh and Semple Stadium.
Cusack Park is a totally different beast for them to tame this time around.
The Bannermen come in on the back of causing the first mini-shock of the Championship after waltzing out of Walsh Park with two points on the opening day. It may have only been a narrow one-point victory in the end, but in all truth, the result flattered Waterford and Clare were by far the dominant outfit.
The only worry you’d have for Clare is that game was almost three weeks ago and they’ve not played since. Sharpness counts for a lot in hurling and if Tipp can keep the Banner away from goal, then we reckon they’ve got the firepower to topple Clare’s proud home record.
Carlow v Dublin: Dublin to score the first goal – 8/13
After a rousing first game on their return to the Leinster Championship, where they pushed Galway to the limit at times, Carlow were sent crashing back to earth with a bang last time out.
Perhaps the occasion of welcoming their much-vaunted neighbours Kilkenny to Dr Cullen Park got to them, but conceding three goals in the first half at this level is unforgivable and it’s an issue Colm Bonnar will want to fix urgently.
That defensive problem will be severely tested on Sunday as Dublin – who are probably the most direct team in intercounty hurling – make the trip south. They may have required a late, late Sean Moran goal from a free to grab a point against Wexford, but Liam Rushe and his forwards colleagues must be licking their lips at the prospect of taking on these Carlow backs.
Rushe is a nifty 15/2 shot to grab the opening goal in this one, and given his aerial prowess that’s not to be sniffed at either. However, we are going to play it a little safer and we’re going with Dublin to raise the first green flag of the contest.
* All odds correct at time of posting and may vary up to throw-in.