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It’s not in the DNA of Brian Cody or Davy Fitzgerald to go out and lose hurling matches. Both of these managers are serial winners, and the meeting of Kilkenny and Wexford on Sunday at 15:00 will be a tasty clash. We’ve seen in the past that National League results in this fixture have a knock-on effect on what happens if these two counties meet in the Championship.
Wexford have had the upper hand on Kilkenny a little over the last number of years, with the exception being the 2018 National League semi-final where The Cats went down and steamrollered Wexford on their home patch. Apart from that game, The Yellowbellies have had a reasonable recent run of results against Cody’s men.
There could be an element of shadowboxing when it comes to team selections for this match though, as the sides could potentially meet in the Leinster Championship semi-final in July. Davy Fitzgerald would be the more likely of the two managers to engage in that. But, I wouldn’t expect Brian Cody to do so, as it’s something I’ve not seen him do over the years. If anything, Cody goes to knock his opponents out and keeps trying to knock them out every time he meets them.
There’ll be a realisation in Kilkenny that Wexford have enjoyed success over them in the last few years and Cody will be keen to wrestle that momentum back this weekend. I just feel with Kilkenny playing at home as well, that they will pick up the win here.
It’s been a funny League campaign this season, with teams trying out different players and so many substitutions too. But, if TJ Reid (Kilkenny) and Rory O’Connor (Wexford) start this game like they should, they are the two most prolific players on either side.
Rory O’Connor is in a really rich vein of form for Wexford at the moment and I reckon Davy Fitzgerald will be really pleased with some of the stuff he is producing for The Yellowbellies.
TJ Reid didn’t play last time out against Antrim and he didn’t get a score for play against Dublin, so I believe he’ll have the bit between his teeth to make a real statement in this game. Don’t be surprised if he has his radar fixed on goal here.
Outside of the two players mentioned above, if you are looking for a first goalscorer at a decent price then David Dunne of Wexford might be the man to back. He scored three points from play in his last game against Clare.
He looks like he’s coming back into a bit of form and he’s a really fast player. He has also raised a green flag against Kilkenny at Nowlan Park before, which he did when the counties met in the 2017 National Hurling League quarter-final. He is certainly tempting me in the First Goalscorer market this weekend.
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