Tipperary v Cork, Saturday, 7pm, Thurles
This is a big game for both sides. A win for Tipperary would move them up out of the relegation zone, while it would all but end Cork’s hopes of remaining in the division for the 2020 season.
Tipperary have played four games to date and have had a mixture of results, they have won one, drawn one and lost two. The win coming against Donegal I was very impressed with, they also drew with Fermanagh. The two losses came at the hands of Armagh and Meath, both of which were away games. Ronan McCarthy’s Cork have played four, lost three and drawn one. The draw coming against Rory Gallagher’s Fermanagh on the first weekend of the league, since then they have suffered defeats to Kildare, Clare and most recently Meath. A big performance will be needed here.
Looking at the players then Cork will look to Kevin Crowley, Kevin Flahive and Thomas Clancy in defence. Ian Maguire will be key in midfield. In attack then players like Luke Connolly, Paul Kerrigan, Ruairi Deane and Michael Hurley will need to have massive games if the Rebels are to come away from the Premier county with 2 very much needed points. However, Liam Kearns has many talented players, looking in defence, Alan Campbell, John Meagher and Emmet Moloney having been playing good football in the full back line I expect this trio to continue. In midfield, Steven O’Brien and Liam Casey have built up a solid partnership. In attack then Liam McGrath at centre forward, Philip Austin and Conor Sweeney are vital.
Tipperary: Michael O’Reilly; Alan Campbell, John Meagher, Emmett Moloney; Kevin Fahey, Daire Brennan, Jimmy Feehan; Steven O’Brien, Liam Casey; Liam Boland, Liam McGrath, Brian Fox; Philip Austin, Conor Sweeny, Jack Kennedy
Cork: Micheal Aodh Martin; Sam Ryan, Kevin Flahive, Conor Dennehy; Kevin Crowley, Thomas Clancy, Mattie Taylor; Ian Maguire, Killian O’Hanlon; Mark Collins, Luke Connolly, Ruairi Deane; Michael Hurley, Brian Hurley, Paul Kerrigan.
Tipperary at 4/5 are nice odds considering Cork have failed to win a game in the league, however they are still only 11/8 to win. The draw is 15/2. With home advantage and Cork in very poor form Tipperary to win by 3 or 4 points for me.