Tipperary v Dublin, Saturday, 5pm, Thurles
Tipperary and Dublin will open proceedings in Thurles this weekend in the All-Ireland SHC Qualifiers. The winners of this game will book a quarter final spot and will fancy their chances of reaching an All-Ireland semi-final then. Tipperary for large parts of the game with Westmeath in their first qualifier game last weekend were very poor. However, they are still second favourites to win the All-Ireland so you can’t write them off. They have talented players throughout the field, but a worry for Michael Ryan now is that Seamus Callanan was took off early against the Lake County may be just as a precaution. They will want more from players like Noel and John McGrath, while John O’Dwyer seemed to back to his best in the win against Westmeath. In defence they will be able to call on the Maher brothers as well as James Barry.
Dublin will travel to Thurles in high spirits after the hammering they dished out to Laois in Parnell Park last weekend. Eamonn Dillion was the standout player for Ger Cunningham’s men scoring 2-03 in a fine display. David Treacy was also in fine form in that win, while players like Cian O’Sullivan and Ben Quinn also stood up. These players will all need to hit top form in my opinion if Dublin are to cause an upset and defeat the reigning champions in their home venue.
Tipperary are strong 1/12 favourites to win this and Dublin are a massive 8/1 to upset the odds and book a quarter final place. I personally feel Tipperary will put in a massive performance here and the bookies handicap is -9 for a reason. I would go with the handicap and back Tipperary to win by 9 or 10 points.