Wexford and Westmeath will battle it out on Saturday evening in Cusack Park Mullingar with a 7pm throw in. The game is not on television but you can follow it on our match tracker on site. The winners of the game will progress to a meeting with Clare in the quarter finals proper of the All-Ireland stage.
Looking at a preview of the game, Westmeath will have home advantage here which may drive them on. Westmeath disappointed in the Joe McDonagh Cup Final last weekend and were beaten by 6 points by Carlow and to be fair Carlow could of won by a bit more. However, there was some positives in the game for Michael Ryan’s men, Eoin Price was absolutely outstanding for the Lake County he scored 0-06 in a fine performance. Westmeath also have players in their ranks such as Tommy Doyle, Killian Doyle, Robbie Greville and Niall O’Brien. These players will all need to be on top form if Westmeath are to beat Wexford here.
So looking at Wexford, they come into the game on the back of exiting the Leinster championship at the hands of Kilkenny. They were unlucky in that game to be fair and it could of ended in a draw. They were indeed leading by 8 points at one stage on that game. Davy Fitzgerald will look to players like Lee Chin for a bit more he has been rather quite the last two games against Galway and Kilkenny, the defence is solid and is built around Matthew O’Hanlon and Liam Ryan. In attack then Conor Mcdonald, Rory O’Connor, Paul Morris are all fine hurlers and big games from this trio should see Wexford progress to the next round.
Westmeath: 1 Paddy Carroll, 2 Conor Shaw, 3 Tommy Doyle, 4 John Gilligan, 5 Shane Clavin, 6 Paul Greville, 7 Derek McNicholas, 8 Eoin Price, 9 Aonghus Clarke, 10 Robbie Greville, 11 Ciaran Doyle, 12 Cormac Boyle, 13 Niall O’Brien, 14 Niall Mitchell, 15 Alan Devine
LAST FIVE CHAMPIONSHIP MEETINGS
2015 Westmeath 1-16 Wexford 1-24 (Leinster quarter final)
2012 Wexford 3-22 Westmeath 2-09 (Hurling qualifiers)
1995 Wexford 6-25 Westmeath 1-07 (Leinster first round)
1983 Wexford 7-18 Westmeath 1-13 (Leinster first round)
1955 Wexford 5-09 Westmeath 3-04 (Leinster first round)
The sides meet for the first time since 2015 in the championship, when Wexford by eight points. Westmeath are looking for their first win over Wexford in the championship since 1940 when they beat them 2-05 to 2-04 in the Leinster semi-final.
Wexford are unbackable in this game at 1/50, if you fancy an upset Westmeath are 12/1 and the draw is 25/1. Wexford for me have to win this comfortably if they are to make an impact on the All-Ireland this year, The handicap market is Westmeath – 15 at even money and I expect Wexford to win by more than 15 points on Saturday so this could be worth a bet. I would also back Conor McDonald first goalscorer.