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The tension is building ahead of the All-Ireland Hurling Semi Finals, which take place this weekend. Our expert John Mullane correctly predicted Clare would overcome Wexford in their quarter final, and face Kilkenny as their reward.
In their quarter final, Galway upset the odds to beat Cork, and will play Limerick Sunday for a place in the All-Ireland Final.
Ahead of these two massive games, we’ve got John back to give you the lowdown on a big weekend of hurling action. Let’s see who he’s backing…
This is a mouth-watering clash, it’s very hard to separate both these sides. You know what you’re gonna get from Kilkenny, a Brian Cody team that rocks up to an All-Ireland semi are going to be a very, very difficult team to beat.
Clare on the other hand overcame Wexford, and were lucky, after being six points down with 12 minutes to go, but they came with all the answers in the latter stages of that match. And it sets up this contest really, really nicely for Saturday evening.
For me, if Clare perform to the level they did in the Munster final, they’ll win this match. But if they don’t, the one certainty is that Kilkenny are going to perform, and it’s gonna take a performance to beat them, and if Clare are anywhere below par, Kilkenny will win this match.
But I just feel for Clare, the manner that they got over the line in the last game, and they have a pretty decent record. And Brian Cody will be pretty anxious to win this match to avoid three semi-final losses in a row with three Munster sides. So it’s all set up for a cracker on Saturday night.
If Clare bring the levels they did in the Munster final, that will get them over the line, so I’m gonna go for a Clare win.
But I think goals are gonna be hard to come by in this one. Usually the mark is under or over the 3.5 goals market, and I’m gonna go for the under in this case. I think Clare might raise a green flag, and Kilkenny might get one or two. There’s gonna be a lot of bodies out their on that middle third, so under 3.5 goals is a good shout.
For a first goalscorer, I think Eoin Cody is due a big game for Kilkenny, so I’m gonna go for him to be first goalscorer.
It’s a big, big ask for Galway this one. They’re coming up against a green machine who love playing at Croke Park. Everything is gonna have to fall right for Galway to have a chance of winning, they’re gonna need a good start, keep it tight at the back, and all of their big players up top are gonna need to have a good game.
But, for me, I just think Limerick are possibly 5-6 points better than the chasing pack at the moment. They’re gonna have to have an off day and Galway a very good day if Galway are gonna win this match.
I just can’t look beyond Limerick, they’ve got some big players on their way back to strengthen their side, so I’m gonna go for a Limerick win. The handicap is six, and I think they’ll cover that six point spread.
I’m gonna go for over 3.5 goals in this match. If Galway are to have any chance, they’re gonna have to go looking for goals, and try to create goals. And I think Limerick will score goals at the weekend, considering the opportunities that Cork got the last time out.
And for a first goalscorer, it’s almost take your pick – but I’m gonna go for Aaron Gillane to be the first goalscorer in this match, he’s raised many green flags in Crowe Park before, and he’s in a rich vein of form.
John Mullane’s Weekend Double
I’m gonna go for an all-Munster final again, we had it last year between Cork and Limerick, and I think it might play out again, so I’m gonna go for Clare and Limerick both to win.
*A double with these two bets pays approximately Evens with Paddy Power. CLICK HERE to add it to your betslip.
All-Ireland Semis Tips
- Clare Win
- Under 3.5 Goals
- Eoin Cody First Goalscorer
- Limerick to cover the handicap (-6)
- Over 3.5 goals
- Aaron Gillane first goalscorer
- Clare Win
- Limerick Win
- Head over to Paddy Power News for all the latest GAA tips
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