It will be a defining game for both sides and Boylesports fancy Dublin to beat Kilkenny hurlers as they only go 7/4 while Paddypower go 5/2.
Dublin wins over Kilkenny in the championship have been very rare – only one in the last 77 years – which underlines the extent of the challenge awaiting them in the first series of Leinster ’round robin’ games in Nowlan Park on Saturday. Dublin’s only success in that period came in 2013 when they won a Leinster semi-final replay by three points. They later went on to win the Leinster title for the first time since 1961.
Kilkenny won two and lost four games in this year’s Div 1A Allianz League campaign. Dublin won four and lost one of five games in 1B before beating Tipperary in the quarter-finals and losing to Limerick in the semi-final.
Brian Cody is in his 21st season with Kilkenny; Mattie Kenny in his first season with Dublin. Cody has come up against Dublin twelve times in the championship since taking over as Kilkenny manager at the start of the 1999 season. They have won ten, drawn one and lost one. Kilkenny’s only defeat was in the 2013 Leinster semi-final replay, their first setback against Dublin in the championship since 1942.
It’s very interesting that Boylesports have really stuck their neck out and made Kilkenny 4/7 when everyone else went 2/5, definitely check back in on Saturday because it will be interesting to see how long they hold the stand out 4/7. This game was 1/5 Kilkenny 7/2 Dublin when it was announced last November so expect Kilkenny to have a huge amount of injuries.
Boylesports are 10/11 -2 Kilkenny, but William Hill are 1/1 on Dublin -3. Once the teams are announced it will be interesting to see how the betting companies react.
Paddypower have total points at 45.5, the last five meetings since 2000 (35, 43,42,43,47), with perfect conditions expected it’s going to be very close to 45pts so this might be a bet to leave alone.
It’s expected to be 12-14 degrees, with a few clouds and zero chance of rain. So expect plenty of scores.
Kilkenny – Keeper Eoin Murphy, Joey Holden, Cillian Buckley, James Maher, Conor Delaney, Rob Lennon are all missing and Richie Hogan only makes the bench.
Dublin are missing quite a few of their panel, with most of the injured players only 50-50 starters. Mark Schutte, Paul Winters, Cian O’Callaghan, Fionntan MacGibb, John Hetherton Conal Keaney, Mark Schutte are all out but Liam Rushe starts in a team that still looks very strong.
Dublin starting team : Alan Nolan, Paddy Smyth, Eoghan O’Donnell, Daire Gray, Chris Crummey, Shane Barrett, Sean Treacy, Darragh O’Connell, David Treacy, Danny Sutcliffe, Fergal Whitely, Oisin O’Rourke, Liam Rushe, Eamonn Dillion
Useful quotes from players and managers
Brian Cody said “Dublin are a top team. I’m saying that a long time. They are. A top team. Serious, serious panel,look at their league. They beat Tipperary in the quarter-final in Thurles. That was a statement enough for anybody who hadn’t realised at that stage how good they are.
“You say we ran Limerick close last year, Limerick beat Dublin by three points in the league semi-final. Dublin are up there with the very best teams.
“Of course we are playing them and you can say, ‘Sure you would say that’. But I believe it. It’s the truth, the truth.”
Thursday Update 10:30pm
There have been no major changes with so much doubt on who will start for each team, check back in on Saturday.
Saturday update 9:36am
Astonishingly there has been no moves in this betting since last week, Kilkenny have injuries but so do Dublin, I would think Dublin are the value at 9/4 with Betway, but its hard to back a side with one victory in 77 years over their opposition.