On Sunday at 2pm, Munster champions Cork face Kildare in Croke Park, with both sides looking to make up for quarter-final defeats in 2011 by making the last four this year.
The Rebels have been at this stage of the competition every year since 2005, their shock defeat to Mayo in the quarter-finals last year the only occasion they have faltered at this stage of the competition in that time.
Kildare’s quarter-finals record is far less impressive, with their victory over Meath in 2010 the only time in their last four attempts that they have successfully negotiated this particular hurdle.
Speaking about their approach to the Cork match, Kildare captain John Doyle said: “We are where we want to be, but at the start of the year you don’t think like that. It’s an old cliché but it’s all about the next game and that’s the way it is.
“The journey has to start with the first step and then when it’s coming every week you just have to get the result and move on and work hard for the week and learn something.
“You have to try to keep on top of your game because what worked well for us against Sligo (last weekend) won’t necessarily work well the next day.”
Rustiness is a massive worry for this Cork side, having had a lengthy absence from Championship play, with only a routine victory over Clare in the eight weeks since beating Kerry for the Munster crown, but that should largely be offset by their bench depth.
Graham Canty returns for Cork in place of Eoin Cotter, who drops to the bench. The 2010 All-Ireland winning captain is named in his traditional centre-back role, with Noel O’Leary moving to wing-back.
Kildare are unchanged from the side that beat Sligo, which means that there’s no starting line-up spot for Seanie Johnston, who must make do with a place on the bench again, alongside Dermot Earley.
Cork: A Quirke; R Carey, M Shields, E Cadogan; P Kissane, G Canty, N O’Leary; A O’Connor, A Walsh; F Goold, C Sheehan, P Kerrigan; C O’Neill, D O’Connor, N Murphy.
Kildare: S Connolly, O Lyons, P Kelly, H McGrillen, E Bolton, M O’Flaherty, E Doyle, M Foley, R Kelly, E O’Flaherty, M Conway, J Doyle, A Smith, T O’Connor, J Kavanagh