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Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Winning sequence set to continue for All-Ireland champs

Michael Mulvihill fancies Galway to be too good for Dublin

Galway's Young Hurler of the Year Conor Whelan is coming into his prime
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Galway v Dublin
Tullamore, 7pm Saturday

Galway and Dublin meet on Saturday evening in what has become a dead-rubber game with Galway already assured of top spot and a place in the Leinster Final, while Dublin are playing for pride.

A comprehensive victory over Offaly last weekend secured Dublin’s position in the 2019 Leinster Championship, but their season ends here.

It could have been so different for Dublin but for a late Liam Blanchfield goal in round one, while they also pushed Wexford close in round two. Pat Gilroy has done a fine job with a team who struggled through the league without their Cuala contingent and the have restored pride in the Dublin jersey with their performances in the championship.

Galway look to be the best team in the country right now, and with their sights set on greater things, they may rest some key players before their Leinster Final meeting with either Kilkenny or Wexford.

Even without some of their stars Galway should be far too good for Dublin.

They have averaged 28 points per game in the championship, including seven goals, and with some panel members getting the chance to stake their claim for a start in the final, they should blow Dublin away.

Recommendations
Galway -6
2pts Coral, Ladbrokes
Galway over 27.5 points
1pt 8-11 BoyleSports

Already advised May 11
Galway to top the table
3pts 5-6 Ladbrokes, Paddy Power


Kilkenny v Wexford
Nowlan Park
Sky Sports Arena 7pm Saturday

Unlike the current state of affairs in the Munster Championship, the permutations for this one are easy. Win and you’re in a Leinster Final, lose and you’re off to play a Joe McDonagh side in the preliminary quarter-finals and facing a long road ahead. It’s all set up to be a rip-roaring battle in Nowlan Park.

The sides have performed similarly in the championship. Both were comfortable winners over Offaly (Wexford more so), both were pushed all the way by Dublin (each winning by two points), and both were thoroughly outclassed by Galway.

The worry for Davy Fitzgerald’s Wexford is fatigue as they play their fourth game in as many weeks, and the potential loss of Rory O’Connor is huge. O’Connor has been the star for Wexford, hitting 12 of their 17 points last weekend in their loss to Galway. 

Kilkenny are fresh following their week off after the loss to Galway and Brian Cody will be keen to restore the pecking order in Leinster.

Kilkenny, however, have looked average in the championship, especially when Dublin and Galway nullified the threat of TJ Reid.

While Fitzgerald said after the loss to Galway that he'd "have his house on Kilkenny" due to the fatigue levels in the Wexford camp, the Clare man is known for his mind games and may be underplaying their chances.

These sides have met twice already this year with Kilkenny coming out on top both times, but Wexford were comprehensive victors over the Cats in last year’s championship, and they have the ingredients to cause an upset and book their place in a second successive Leinster Final.

Recommendation
Wexford
1pt 3-1 BoyleSports

Already advised (May 11)
Galway-Kilkenny straight forecast
2pts 13-8 Paddy Power


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They’ve averaged 28 points per game in the championship so far, including seven goals
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