We are just over two weeks away from the start of the Munster and Leinster Hurling Championships and who will lift the Liam MacCarthy Cup is anyone’s guess.
Last year’s champions Limerick are the favourites given their performances throughout the Allianz League campaign but with a tough Munster championship to get through, nothing is certain.
John Kiely’s side will battle it out with Waterford, Cork, Tipperary and Clare for a place in the All Ireland series with only the top three teams progressing while the other two face an extended summer.
The two teams that faced that fate last year were Waterford and Tipperary and both sides are under new management this year. Paraic Fanning led the Deise to the Hurling League final and looks to be inspiring the best out of players such as Stephen Bennett, Kevin Moran, and Jamie Barron.
Meanwhile, Tipperary have shown glimpses of their potential under Liam Sheedy throughout the League, but are still a somewhat unknown entity.
Cork and Clare competed for the Munster crown last year for the second year running and while both sides endured a mixed league campaign, they are capable of returning to the decider.
Kilkenny are set for an uphill battle in their Leinster opener on May 11 when they must face Dublin without the likes of Cillian Buckley, James Maher and Conor Delaney who all miss out through injury. Meanwhile, their opponents have enjoyed a bright start to life under Mattie Kenny as they reached the Allianz League semi-final.
Galway remain the favourites to claim their third Leinster title in-a-row, however, they will have to do so without their talisman, Joe Canning who underwent groin surgery following their Allianz Hurling League semi-final loss to Waterford.
They open their campaign at home to Carlow who earned their place in the top flight of the championship following their success in the Joe McDonagh Cup last year. The sides drew when they met in the Allianz League earlier this year.
Following a disappointing end to their 2018 campaign at the hands of Clare, Wexford will also be eager to prove themselves in Davy Fitzgerald’s third season. They are also littered with talent with players such as Conor McDonald, Lee Chin and Rory O’Connor.
The structure of the hurling championship this year means it will be more competitive than ever. Ahead of the throw-in of the competition, we want you to pick who you think will lift the Liam MacCarthy Cup in August.
Vote in the poll below.