What we can expect in next Sunday’s hurling semi-finals?

Will the managers give youth a go?

A clash of styles

There’s little question about there being a conflict of tactics in both semi-finals next Sunday.

Limerick are hardly conventional, but they aren’t shape-shifters to the same extent as Waterford.

Similarly, Clare will oscillate and commit more players back, although Kilkenny have been dropping their half-forwards back for years.

Limerick were too reactionary against Clare and will have to make Waterford think. Clare could deploy two sweepers. They certainly won’t be going man for man.

A lack of goals

A combination of poor underfoot conditions and more defensive styles has seen a serious dearth of goals in this campaign.

The Offaly game aside, Kilkenny haven’t been racking up the three-pointers and Waterford have managed just one in six games.

Clare and Limerick’s tallies are higher but offset by the fact they were playing inferior teams in Division 1B.

The way Clare set themselves up, Kilkenny may be largely relying on points to reach the final.

Cody, Davy and Dónal Óg

Have we ever asked ourselves why we refer to the Kilkenny manager by his surname and Clare’s by his first name?

Fitzgerald’s deputy by his first? Whatever the reasons, their sharing of the whitewash will make for just as good viewing as the game itself.

After a German TV station devoted a camera entirely to Jurgen Klopp for the duration of last Thursday’s Borussia Dortmund-Liverpool Europa Cup quarter-final, may we suggest TG4 keep one firmly on the Kinane Stand sideline on Sunday?

Youth v youth

In fairness to TJ Ryan, he is well and truly giving youth its head at the moment akin to what Derek McGrath has done with Waterford since the start of last season.

Limerick and Waterford have two of the most exciting groups of up-and-comers and they are earning their corn at senior level. Shane Bennett, Patrick Curran and Austin Gleeson will likely be in the shake-up for young hurler of the year; likewise, Diarmuid Byrnes and Cian and Ronan Lynch should be prominent.


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