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Can Deise upset Kiely’s Limerick machine? | Do Kilkenny fear Galway?

Shane Stapleton and Michael Verney preview Galway v Kilkenny and Waterford v Limerick, and look at where these games will be won and lost

Shane Stapleton and Michael Verney preview Galway v Kilkenny and Waterford v Limerick, and look at where these games will be won and lost.

Limerick are looking to retain the Munster SHC title for the first time since 1981.

In their way is a Waterford side that, up until their semi-final win over Cork, had not won a championship match since August 2017.

That victory ended 1176 days of pain, but can the Deise go from a struggling side to putting it up to a machine-like champion overnight?

Liam Cahill has added to the rebuilding job that was started by Pauric Fanning last year, and only eight of the side that played in the All-Ireland final of 2017 remained for the win over the Rebels.

With new players, they will hope a stronger mentality can spring forth, though few will back against the Treaty.

Shane Stapleton and Michael Verney look at where Waterford might get some joy, how Austin Gleeson can win his battle, the role of Dessie Hutchinson, and whether Tadhg de Burca can lord it once more.

The Limerick half-forward line is the most-vaunted division in hurling just now, while Cian Lynch and Declan Hannon continue to set the tone.

Kilkenny have not won a Leinster SHC title since overwhelming Galway in the second half of the 2016 final, and no doubt they are keen to regain the Bob O’Keeffe Cup.

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The Tribe last won it in 2018, but of course were eliminated in the group stages last season.

Joe Canning is back to full fitness, Brian Concannon has become a star in attack, Cathal Mannion is a prime shooter, while Conor Whelan is arguably the toughest attacker in the game to mark one-v-one.

Do the Cats have the defenders to keep down the Connacht men? Will Brian Cody rip up the script after his side almost loss to Dublin after being 16 points in front?

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FIXTURES (Saturday unless stated)
Leinster SHC final
Kilkenny v Galway, Croke Park, 6.15pm – RTÉ2

All-Ireland SHC round 2 
Tipperary v Cork, LIT Gaelic Grounds, 4pm – Sky
Wexford v Clare, MW Hire O’Moore Park, 2pm – GAAGO

Joe McDonagh Cup round 3
Antrim v Kerry, Corrigan Park, 1.30pm

Christy Ring Cup semi-finals
Down v Offaly, Pairc Esler, 1.30pm
Kildare v Roscommon, St Conleth’s Park, 1.30pm

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Nicky Rackard Cup semi-finals
Mayo v Leitrim, Elverys McHale Park, 1.30pm
Donegal v Tyrone, O’Donnell Park, 1.30pm

Munster SHC final
Limerick v Waterford, Sunday Semple Stadium, 4pm – RTÉ2

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