* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.
Kilkenny v Waterford
Kilkenny have broken my heart a lot in the past and I still have nightmares about the 2008 All-Ireland final against them. Since that day, Waterford have actually competed very well against Kilkenny though, and finally beat them – for the first time since 1959 – in 2017 in an All-Ireland qualifier held in Thurles.
At the start of the Championship, I don’t believe anyone would have predicted we’d have Kilkenny and Waterford meeting in the last four of the All-Ireland. It’s magical stuff! I have to say as well, Liam Cahill has done a remarkable job with Waterford when you look at the players that are not available to him. But, he’s coming up against the greatest hurling manager of all-time on Saturday in the form of Brian Cody.
This might not be the best Kilkenny team we’ve ever seen. But, there’s a sure thing you’ll get from a Brian Cody team and that’s, that they will turn up and fight until the bitter end. Waterford will have to bring their performances against Limerick and Clare to the table to get a victory here. If they repeat the level they showed in those games, I’d give The Déise a super chance of winning here.
When you look at the first goalscorer markets in these games, the usual suspects always come up. For this one, Waterford’s Austin Gleeson has a shot if he in the forwards. He was very unlucky not to grab the first one last weekend. Stephen Bennett is another who carries a goal threat on The Déise side of the house. Meanwhile, if you fancy The Cats to register first, you are looking to TJ Reid or Colin Fennelly.
But, I’m going to go with Dessie Hutchinson of Waterford to get the first goal here. He got two goals in the first six minutes against Clare in the quarter-final, and I reckon he’s going to really take off from there. He also set up another green flag last weekend and I believe he’s finally arrived on the intercounty scene. He should be oozing confidence now, and don’t be surprised if he hits the Kilkenny net for the opener on Saturday.
I’m going to tip over 3.5 goals in this game, and it has a decent chance of coming in. Waterford scored three goals by themselves last weekend and conceded three as well. There actually was another four clear goalscoring chanced missed by both sides in that game too.
I can see Kilkenny netting here too, although I hope it’s only one or two! Waterford need to keep them to that if they are going to win this match. Waterford have the likes of Hutchinson, Bennett, Gleeson, Jack Prendergast and Jack Fagan though, and they always have goals on their minds. So, I fancy green flags aplenty in this game.
- Paddy Power’s Millionaire Chase: All you need to know about the MILLION quid New Year’s Day giveaway
- Paddy Power’s Millionaire Chase: When this week’s Qualifying race takes place & how to enter