With no fewer than ten GAA games on this weekend there is plenty to preview. With some huge matches taking place we have picked out four selections from the weekend’s action.
Using our scale from 1-5, with one being a dodgy bet and five being a banker, we have picked out the following as the best value for the weekend’s fixtures.
Tipperary Vs Dublin – Saturday 17:00
Semple Stadium is the controversial venue choice for this hurling qualifier game on Saturday. The Dubs aired their grievances about this during the week but it does hand Tipperary a big advantage.
For the second weekend in a row Tipp play at home and we believe home comforts will bring a huge performance. They struggled over Westmeath but will be looking to put in a big performance in front of a bumper crowd on Saturday.
John McGrath comes back into the team and adds a real goal threat. If Tipp can get ahead and ask questions of Dublin then their heads might drop. With the game opening up, Tipp can tag on scores and win comfortably.
Tipperary -9 are 11/10 with Boylesports and we will have a four-point stake on that.
Wexford Vs Monaghan – Saturday 15:00
It’s the Strawberry pickers vs the Farney county on Saturday in Wexford Park. Monaghan’s record in the qualifiers is abysmal. They lost to Longford in Clones last year, and now have to pick themselves off the floor once again following their shock defeat to Down. Recent games have shown how vulnerable the big sides are in the early stages of the qualifiers. Mayo and Donegal both struggled to shake off the hangover from their provincial losses.
Wexford, under Monaghan man Seamus ‘Banty’ McEnaney, have failed to spark since gaining promotion from Division 4.
However, they are set up lovely as underdogs going into this. They are likely to play deep, keeping bodies back aiming to frustrate McManus, McCarron and co. The key might just be the Wexford counter attack and if they find the right balance they have every chance.
The + 6 on Wexford at 6/5 with Boylesports could be a steal. We will have a 1.5-point stake on that.
Meath Vs Donegal – Saturday at 18:00
Difficult conditions led to a woeful game between Donegal and Longford but more was expected from the Tir Chonaill men. Longford finishing with 14 men had a huge impact on the result. The Royals disappointed against Sligo last weekend and left it late to seal their win. Notably, they have now failed to score a goal for the third championship game in succession.
Games against Louth, Kildare and Sligo have all resulted in blanks for Meath and this must be a concern for manager Andy McEntee. They have struggled to create goal chances and Donegal won’t give up many opportunities.
You can expect to see an improved Donegal play on the counter, especially away from home where they will be looking to keep things tight at the back.
It’s 6/4 with Boylesports on Meath not to score a goal. We will have a 1.5-point stake on that.
Cork Vs Clare – Sunday 16:00
It’s Munster final weekend and there is something unique about this pairing. Cork are the team of the championship so far, playing an exciting brand of open hurling.
Clare defeated Limerick in the semi-final, but only showed glimpses of their potential. They will look to get more out of Tony Kelly who on his day is a joy to watch. One thing is for sure this Clare team are coming into this completely under the radar.
All the talk has been about Cork and rightly so, but Clare are a team of exceptionally talented hurlers. They just haven’t showed this on the big day yet, but Sunday gives them an ideal opportunity.
Clare are very capable of getting scores, especially goals, but they will need to brush up on converting frees.
We think they can do it and priced at a generous 7/5 for the victory we will have two points on that.
Bear In The Square, Pundit Arena
Listen to the latest episode of The 16th Man where we previewed all the weekend’s top GAA action.