Calling it: Donal O'Grady names the Tipp and Kilkenny teams for Sunday

No need to wait until tonight, our hurling analyst predicts the All-Ireland hurling final line-ups.

There is some speculation surrounding the Tipperary first 15, particularly about the role of John 'Bubbles 'O'Dwyer.

Some commentators have opined that keeping Dwyer on the bench for introduction as an impact substitute in the last 20 minutes is Tipp's best strategy.

The only strategy to follow on All-Ireland final is to begin with your best team.

Michael Ryan knows that for this game he needs to start with all guns blazing, decked out in his Sunday best.

I'm expecting O'Dwyer to start at right-corner forward although he is bound to see some service out in the half-forward line or in the midfield area in a free role when the play opens up in the last 20 minutes.

Kilkenny continue to surprise with big game selections. Liam Blanchfield and Mark Bergin were sprung for the replayed semi-final against Waterford.That night in Thurles, Blanchfield's selection looked inspired but Bergin failed to fire, being replaced by Jonjoo Farrell near the end.

Brian Cody has been compared to a magician pulling rabbits from his hat with some of his player selections in major games.These selections sometimes come from left field.

Kieran Joyce will be recalled for this encounter and will more than likely police Patrick 'Bonnar' Maher. The thirteen others pick themselves with only the right-corner forward spot up for grabs.

Farrell is a candidate but his form has dipped a little since early summer. When Kilkenny played Tipp in the opening league encounter Kevin Kelly was their most impressive inside forward.

Kilkenny have always looked for flexibility in attack. Kelly gives them more options in the full-forward line than the other candidates. He has stated in the past that he is desperate for the chance to prove himself on the big stage.

It is highly likely that he will have his chance on Sunday.

TIPPERARY: D.Gleeson; C.Barrett, J.Barry, M Cahill; S.Kennedy, R.Maher, P.Maher; M.Breen, B.Maher; D.Mc Cormack, P.Maher, N.Mc Grath; JO'Dwyer, S.Callanan, J.Mc Grath.

KILKENNY: E.Murphy; P.Murphy, J.Holden, S.Prendergast; P.Walsh, K.Joyce, C Buckley; C.Fogarty, TJReid; W.Walsh; R.Hogan, E.Larkin; K.Kelly, C.Fennelly, L.Blanchfield.

The long and the short: Donal O'Grady assesses Darren Gleeson's puckout choices

Restoring Callanan's goal threat: Donal O'Grady on how Tipp can get the most out of Seamus Callanan 

 


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