Waterford hurling legend John Mullane joins the Paddy Power Blog team to give his expert opinion ahead of the weekend’s All-Ireland Hurling Championship games.
Clare v Laois, Saturday 3pm
Laois hurling is on a high at the moment coming off a very good performance against Galway. They had a very good season in their corresponding league and they’ve had one or two good matches in the Leinster Championship.
Clare on the other hand, Davy Fitzgerald will be anxious to get his season back on track and I see there being a big Clare performance this weekend.
Clare’s home advantage at Cusack Park will help them overcome Laois and I think they’ll overcome the handicap.
Clare -9pts at 10/11.
Kilkenny v Tipperary, Live on TV3, Saturday 7pm
As for Dublin’s win over Kilkenny I think Dublin have been knocking on the door the last few seasons but I definitely think Kilkenny are sliding a bit. They’re on the road a long time and they’ve become victims of their own success.
They’ve played three games to date and they look mentally drained. Looking at their body language you can see that the last ten to twelve years is really starting to catch up on them now.
Tipperary, on the other hand, are coming in to this game relatively fresh. I think they’re ready for this game.
Kilkenny have home advantage which will be in their favour this weekend and will affect the game. Even if Henry Shefflin is back the big cog for this Kilkenny team is Michael Fenley but whether he will play or not remains to be seen. They’re without Paul Murphy and rumour has it that Jackie Tiernan may not start either. If Fenley doesn’t play then I think Tipperary will win this game.
I think it’s set up for Tipp really and if they do win this game they’re going to win by 3 or 4 points. So it’s Tipperary for me at 11/10 but I’ll also be looking at Tipperary -2pts and 15/8.
Galway v Dublin, Live on RTE2, Sunday 4pm
Personally I don’t think the odds on this game are giving Dublin the respect they deserve. They’re coming off two good displays against Kilkenny and it seems as though the odds are being based on last year. Galway possibly should have won the All-Ireland and that’s why they’re 2/5 in this game.
I see this game being close, I don’t see there being a lot in it, maybe 2 or 3 points either way.
In the handicap I’m going for Dublin +4pts at 5/6. I just think the dubs are on a bit of a roll here. I like the way they set their stall out against Kilkenny last week and I think Andy Daly will go along with that again this week.
I’m going for Dublin +4 at 5/6 to cover the handicap.
The way Dublin set out their stall they’re not conceding too many goals and if I was to go for a first goalscorer in this game I’d go for David O’Callaghan at 9/1. He had a massive game for Dublin last week and he looks back to his best.