Tipperary vs Galway on Sunday has all the makings of a classic, and a lot of people are tipping Galway to not only get past Tipperary but to go on and win the All-Ireland.
Personally, I can’t see where everybody is getting the confidence from Galway. I know they won the league and had an impressive display against Tipperary in that final, but really, they played a poor Dublin team, in the first round of the Leinster Championship and Wexford didn’t play to their potential in Croke Park. The Tribesmen have got to this stage untested. It’s going to be a huge, huge battle on Sunday.
Tipp’s full-back line was the one area in the team the last day that was in trouble, so it’s a big call from Michael Ryan to back those three. I thought they would bring back Cathal Barrett and shove James Barry back to full back – he did win an All-Star last year at the edge of the square and he was solid there for the last couple of years. I fully expected them to make that change.
Barry has returned at fullback, with Michael Cahill returning to the corner. This Tipp defence will have to improve – there is no doubt about it.
Michael Ryan has good scoring forwards at his disposal, but if you’re leaking goals and points from the full-back line, there is only so much of that you can take.
Ultimately, it will be the end of Tipp if they don’t tighten up.
Galway have been putting up good scores – 0-33 against Offaly and 0-29 against Wexford – so it is going to be a really intriguing battle.
The Achilles heel for the Tribesmen in recent years has been that they have been over-reliant on Joe Canning. When he went off last year, they really suffered.
They will be hoping that even if Joe has a quiet day, other players can step up to the plate.
Galway have been in positions to win big matches before and have lost them and it’s still hard to see the leaders standing up.
When it come to the crunch, you need your leaders to really drive on and win the game and that’s a big question mark surrounding this Galway team still. When they are in the position to win – and they will be in a position to take this game by the scruff of the neck on Sunday – who is going to stand up and push the team forward?
They will need more than one or two lads – everyone needs to put their shoulder to the wheel.
When they get into a position to win the game, they will have to kill it off.
There is nobody really talking about Tipperary. At the start of the year, nobody expected them to lose to Cork (not least me) but the Rebels have proven to be very good.
Tipp will be delighted with how they are coming into this match. Slowly but surely, they are getting to the form that saw them win the All-Ireland last year.
There is no bigger test than Galway at the moment but they will be happy going in under the radar and they will be hoping for a big performance.
All things considered, I think Tipp will win, if they just tighten up their full-back line.
I think they have much better firepower than Galway and I can’t see the public’s confidence towards the Tribesmen.
Wexford were average in the Leinster final and for a long time Galway struggled to put them away and Dublin were very poor before that.
Micheal Donoghue’s men are untested at the highest level and Tipp are right up their with the best so it’s going to be an intriguing game. I fancy the Premier to just edge it.
Make sure to check out the latest episode of The 16th Man, as we look ahead to all the weekend’s action.