Sunday presents a huge game for Galway. The element of surprise is gone after beating Tipperary at this stage last year. A big challenge presents itself, but these are the challenges they must overcome if they are to win an All-Ireland. Here we run through the men that need to perform on Sunday
1. Daithí Burke
The way Galway have played this year, it would be logical to think that Burke will be the man to man mark Seamus Callanan. Callanan hit 3-9 in last year’s game and pretty much kept Tipp in the game on his own. Tipp have more attacking threats but curbing the influence of crowd favourite Callanan will be a big part of the Tribes game plan. Burke has had a great year so far and will be hoping to drive Galway forward from the back.
2. David Burke
The other Burke has taken his game to a new level over the last two years. He has been excellent at midfield, dominating the middle as well as making telling contributions in both attack and defence. Midfield was where Galway really got a foot hold in last year’s All-Ireland semi-final. This year presents a new game and new midfield opponents, but Galway will need Burke to be at his best if they are to win particularly in running at the Tipp backs.
3. Joe Canning
The quarter-final saw Joe Canning back to his best. It wasn’t all about the scores for Canning, it was his contribution to the team. He played as a half-forward but spent a lot of time around the middle of the pitch. He was winning vital possessions and his retention of the ball was excellent. It was the leadership and class that Galway needed and a similar performance will be needed if they are to get back to an All-Ireland final.
4. Cathal Mannion
The key ingredient this man has is pace. That is why he is identified as a key man. In our analysis of Tipp, we spoke about the Maher’s and how they haven’t been put on the back foot. Well, here is a man that can definitely do this. Galway should start Mannion at right half-forward and really test out Padraic Maher. He has more then pace, he has good work-rate and good finishing that could make him a real key figure on Sunday.
5. Aidan Harte
The Galway defence is the area with the biggest question marks ahead of this game. Aidan Harte was a very effective operator in their last outing against Clare. He was given a free role as a result of Clare’s set-up. He probably won’t be afforded the same freedom against Tipp, but Galway will be hoping for a similar performance from Harte at half-back. His aerial ability and use of the ball were both excellent against Clare, Galway will hope for the same again.