Tipperary v Kilkenny, Sunday, 2pm, Thurles
The old foes Tipperary and Kilkenny will go into battle on Sunday at 2pm in Thurles in what is a massive game for both sides having suffered defeats last weekend. A win for either side will put them firmly in the hunt for a league quarter final place, while a loss would mean they would probably need to win their final two games in the league to get a league quarter final spot.
Tipperary have played three games to date in this league campaign. They beat Clare at this venue on the opening night, however there last two games haven’t gone to plan suffering a 1-21 to 1-14 to Limerick and losing out to Wexford by 1-15 to 1-14 last weekend. Liam Sheedy will be hoping his charges can get back on track here. Kilkenny have had a poor campaign so far by their standards. In three games, they have won one and lost two. The win coming against Cork, however they suffered defeats to Clare and most recently a 9 point defeat to Limerick last weekend.
Tipperary virtually started a championship team against Wexford last weekend it was very strong. I can see a similar team here. Padraic Maher, Ronan Maher and James Barry will be crucial players in defence, while Rob Byrne and Michael Breen will more than likely start in midfield. In attack much again will rely on Seamus Callanan, but he will have help from Jake Morris, Bubbles O’Dwyer and Niall O’Meara. Looking at Kilkenny Brian Cody will expect a better performance here from his players. He will look to Richie Leahy who played very well against Limerick, while Walter Walsh and John Donnelly will also be key players in attack. In defence the half back line will need to get on top here with Paul Murphy, Paddy Deegan and Padraig Walsh all likely to start. The full back line struggled against Limerick so Cody may opt to make a few changes here.
Tipperary (Allianz HL v Kilkenny): Paul Maher; Alan Flynn, James Barry, Ronan Maher; Seamus Kennedy, Padraic Maher, Robert Byrne; Michael Breen, Willie Connors; Patrick Maher, Noel McGrath, John O’Dwyer; Jason Forde, Seamus Callanan, Niall O’Meara.
Kilkenny (Allianz HL v Tipperary): Eoin Murphy; Paul Murphy, Conor Delaney, Tommy Walsh; Conor Fogarty, Paddy Deegan, Jason Cleere; Padraig Walsh, Alan Murphy; John Donnelly, Walter Walsh, Ger Malone; Billy Ryan, Liam Blanchfield, Martin Keoghan.
Tipperary are 4/9 favourites here, Brian Cody’s Kilkenny are 9/4 and the draw is 10/1. Seamus Callanan at 5/1 to get the first goal looks a good bet here.