Past meetings would suggest that Cork should win this game, but the previous pair of Championship contests between them ended up being dead rubbers. This game is different, it’s a huge chance for either side to get into the Munster final – guaranteeing at least an All-Ireland quarter-final spot in the process.
Both sides love going to Thurles, so the venue should pose no problems to them. Of bigger concern is the injury problems they have to deal with. Waterford are without Pauric Mahony, which is a blow, but Cork’s issues run even deeper. The Rebels are missing Robbie O’Flynn (who is suspended), Eoin Cadogan and most significantly, Darragh Fitzgibbon. Fitzgibbon is the engine room of this Cork outfit and he’s down with a hamstring injury.
The weather could also play a part here, as it’s forecast to be bad this weekend and that might suit Waterford as Cork are known as a ‘top of the ground’ team. But, Fitzgibbon’s absence is the key factor and if he was available, I’d be picking Cork all day long. However, he’s out and that fact that The Déise offer betting value in the betting, swings my vote in Waterford’s favour to win this one.
Many people might believe that this tie will be one-way traffic for Kilkenny, but I don’t agree. You cannot underestimate the fact that Dublin already have a game under their belt – albeit, it was a handy victory over Laois. They know what it’s like to play behind closed doors in Championship and the match is fixed for Croke Park too. This is a whole new ball game for Kilkenny, though.
Dublin registered a massive score off the bench last weekend and don’t forget how tight games have been between these two counties over the last couple of seasons. This contest could be an awful lot closer than people believe.
Kilkenny should have enough to win it, but I’m eyeing up the (+5) handicap on The Dubs here. If they could get off to a good start, they might just be right there with The Cats coming down the home straight.
If you were looking for a game to finish a draw this weekend, I wouldn’t put you off backing it in this game. It really is a hard one to call, and these counties drew when they met in Salthill in the Championship last season.
Wexford are dark horses to win the All-Ireland for many pundits this year, but Galway have Joe Canning back for this and that’s huge for them. The Tribesmen are my fancies to win it all and if they could get off to a good start this weekend, I believe they will go very deep into the Championship.
I’m here to stick my neck out on the line sometimes, and I’m going to side Galway to just get it done. But, don’t rule out extra time and even penalties in this one.
* All odds correct at time of first publishing but may change. Prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget.
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