Count on Clare to come good and finally book Munster final ticket
Clare v Limerick
RTE2, 4pm Sunday
Clare have not managed to reach the Munster final since 2008, even though they were All-Ireland champions in 2013, but their lengthy wait for a place in the provincial decider should end at Semple Stadium as they ought to take care of a predictable Limerick side.
Having been agonisingly denied by Kilkenny in the 2014 All-Ireland semi-final, which was played during a torrential downpour, Limerick looked likely to go all the way within the next two years.
Not only have they failed to live up to expectations, but they remain in Division 1B of the league and look nowhere near All-Ireland contenders.
They were outclassed by Galway twice in the league and also lost out to Wexford. It does not seem to be the happiest of camps in Limerick and Clare could make a major statement of intent.
The Banner boys narrowly avoided relegation to Division 1B following a 3-18 to 0-19 play-off victory over Dublin but there were glimpses of potential during the league, including a 13-point thrashing of Kilkenny.
Clare joint-bosses Donal Moloney and Gerry O'Connor have no major injury worries with captain Pat O’Connor in line to lead out his county for the first time in 2017 after undergoing shoulder surgery last December.
Podge Collins is the key to Clare. His pace and power could cut open a fragile Limerick defence who do not inspire confidence.
Clare's defence has a more settled look and they have more scoring power up front with goal-poacher Aron Shanagher joining Shane O'Connell in the full-forward line. Tony Kelly remains a massive talent and this Clare side could exceed expectations.
First they need to take care of Limerick and they should do so by four points or more. It could be more straightforward than the betting suggests.
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