Galway v Waterford, Sunday, 3.30pm, Nowlan Park
Galway and Waterford will battle it for a place in the Allianz Hurling League Final on Sunday afternoon. The game will be shown live on TG4 television also. A win would set up a final with either Limerick or Dublin.
Galway had a good campaign in Division 1b, they drew with Carlow and lost to Waterford however in the group stages. They finished 3rd in the table behind Dublin and Waterford. However, last weekend they showed the quality of players they have, saying that they only had 6 players starting from that All-Ireland team in 2018 that lost to Limerick, it just goes to show how much strength in depth they have. However, when it comes to championship all these players will be back no doubt. The St Thomas’ players could also return here for this big game, if that is the case players like Daithi Burke, David Burke and Conor Cooney will all be returning. Galway even without them players are still quite strong and it showed against Wexford, Gearoid McInerney was outstanding yet again, while Cathal Mannion at midfield has been superb, in attack then players like Conor Whelan, Joe Canning and Davy Glennon have had a good year to date.
Waterford were very impressive in their win over Clare last weekend racking up 0-31 in the process which would have certainly pleased Deise boss Pauric Fanning. Stephen Bennett once again shot the lights out with 0-16, the majority from frees, while Austin Gleeson hit five from play, and so did Ballygunner man Pauric Mahony. Noel Connors, Kevin Moran and Phil Mahony are all experienced players in defence and they will need to curb the threat that the Galway attack will bring here in Nowlan Park.
Galway (Allianz HL v Waterford) 1 F Flannery, 2 P Killeen, 3 R Burke, 4 D Morrissey, 5 A Harte, 6 P Mannion, 7 G McInerney, 8 C Mannion, 9 J Coen 10 N Burke, 11 J Canning, 12 K Hussey, 13 C Whelan, 14 B Concannon, 15 D Glennon.
Waterford (Allianz HL v Galway): Stephen O’Keeffe; Shane McNulty, Calum Lyons, Noel Connors; Philip Mahony, Tadhg de Burca, Kevin Moran; Jamie Barron, Mikey Kearney, Pauric Mahony; Thomas Ryan, Stephen Bennett, Shane Bennett.
It is pretty much 50-50 according to the bookmakers. Galway are just slight favourites at 5/6 and Waterford are 6/5. I think Galway will win here, Conor Whelan at 21/10 to score anytime is a good bet, while Galway to win by 1-3 points should also be considered at 7/2.