The Allianz Hurling League gets back underway this weekend, with some fascinating clashes in store. But which teams need a victory?
Dublin (vs Kilkenny)
Dublin have an atrocious recent record against Kilkenny, losing every single one of the last 11 meetings between the sides.
Last summer’s collapse against the Cats at Parnell Park was significantly disappointing, and Dubs defender Paddy Smyth commented during the off-season that they may have a psychological barrier when they face the black and amber jersey:
“It was very a disappointing performance from us against Kilkenny, as was the one in the League. I think it’s a mental thing, rather than a physical or hurling-wise against them.”
Micheál Donoghue’s charges travel to Nowlan Park on Sunday, looking to get one over their great oppressors. It would be difficult to envisage the Sky Blues challenging Kilkenny in the Leinster Championship, should they suffer a heavy defeat this weekend.
Antrim (vs Laois)
The Saffrons have put together a steady campaign thus far, but a scalp has eluded them.
This Sunday is about preserving their top-tier status for next season however, rather than putting it up to the big boys.
Laois make the trip to Corrigan Park, in what is a de facto relegation semi-final.
Both sides are without a victory after three rounds of games. Antrim have an average losing margin of 5.6 in comparison to Laois’ 15, which illustrates the difference between the counties thus far in 2023.
The O’Moore County upset the odds when the teams met under similar circumstances last year, and Darren Gleeson’s outfit will be gunning to avoid defeat at home on Sunday.
Kerry (vs Kildare)
The Kingdom narrowly missed out at home to Offaly two weeks ago, with a late David Nally side-line edging the contest for the Faithful County in Killarney.
Stephen Molumphy’s team will be gunning for revenge in the Division 2A final, but have significant work to do if they are to reach the decider.
They meet table-toppers Kildare on Saturday, as the Kingdom make the journey to St Conleth’s Park, Newbridge.
The Lilywhites’ rapid rise has taken many by surprise this term, and David Herity’s team will be eyeing up their biggest win yet.
Kildare could afford one loss at this point in the campaign, but Kerry’s promotion hopes would be dented by an away defeat.
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