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Monday, 19 November, 2018

Count on champions Galway to show their class in second game

Michael Mulvihill thinks Clare could struggle at Semple Stadium

Joe Canning (right) has excelled in the playmaking role for Galway
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Galway v Clare
Semple Stadium, 2pm Saturday

Clare recovered from an early nine-point deficit to force a draw against Galway and with the sides still not separated after extra-time, they move to Semple Stadium bidding to book a place in the All-Ireland Final against Limerick.

Galway started much stronger than Clare last Saturday, leading by nine points after 16 minutes following an early Conor Cooney goal. This seemed to click Clare into gear however and by half-time, the Banner had reduced the deficit to four.

Clare moving Colm Galvin to sweeper was key as the Clonlara man cleared up and set up go-forward ball for them. Up front, Peter Duggan was in unstoppable form along with John Conlon.

However, Clare look like they have played all their cards and while Galvin was extremely effective, Galway are likely to counteract it better.

Galway’s major worry is the fitness of All Stars Joe Canning and Gearoid McInerney and while both are expected to start, Clare are likely to target McInerney in particular.

McInerney has been the core of the Galway defence for the last two seasons but he can struggle if dragged out of position and Clare will look to use their running game to upset the Galway defence.

That may not be enough however as Galway are sure to improve. They hit 22 wides in an uncharacteristic performance and the move to Semple Stadium should tighten up their shooting.

Galway have struggled to get big scores in Croke Park this summer, hitting just 13 points from play against Kilkenny in their other appearance there this year. Seven days after that they hit 1-28 in Semple Stadium, showing the advantage of the smaller stadium.

Galway have survived multiple scares this summer - scraping past Dublin, requiring two games to overcome Kilkenny and the draw against Clare - but these games only improve top sides and if they can get on a roll, they look hard to beat.

Cathal Mannion was quiet last week but Galway will be looking to him, Conor Whelan and Johnny Glynn to dominate the struggling Clare defence.

If Galway get in front again, expect them to pull away from Clare. They shouldn’t make the same mistakes again.

Galway -2
3pts Evens Betfair
Under 0.5 C Malone points
1pt 5-6 Boylesports
Over 0.5 P Mannion points
1pt 13-8 BoyleSports

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This Galway side are sure to improve from last week’s performance
E.W. Terms
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