RTÉ GAA analyst Michael Duignan believes that home advantage will give Kilkenny the slight edge over Tipperary this weekend as the two sides meet in the Allianz Hurling League Division 1A at Nowlan Park on Sunday.
No matter what the time of the year there’s always excitement when Kilkenny and Tipperary meet and Duignan expects another enthralling encounter between the two giants.
“It’s a huge fixture after Kilkenny lost out last weekend to Waterford. They really should have lost by more and they looked very rusty,” he said.
"Tipperary had a good win against a disappointing Dublin, but they (Tipp) we impressive and direct.
Despite their opening day defeat to Waterford, Duignan believes that the Cats will revert to type and that playing in front of their supporters in Nowlan Park will give them a lift.
"If you look back over the last 10 league meetings between Kilkenny and Tipp’, Kilkenny have won seven, including all four in Nowlan Park.
"Kilkenny are difficult to beat at home and don’t lose two games in a row normally so while they are rusty, I think they might do enough to get over the line because if they don’t they’re in deep relegation trouble."
On Saturday evening, Cork welcome Waterford to Páirc Uí Rinn, having suffered defeat to Galway in a high scoring game last time out.
Waterford appeared to have Cork’s number last season, beating them in the Championship and a crucial league encounter and Duignan believes that the Deise can extend their winning run against the Rebels.
"I think it’ll be difficult for Cork. They’ve made five changes and they look to have strengthened up all the lines of their team ahead of this match," he said.
"You saw last week, Cork scored 1-21 but they conceded 1-27 to Galway and their defence has been their Achilles heel over the last couple of years.
"Waterford we impressive against Kilkenny with the sweeper back in operation. They’re very difficult to score against – particularly goals with the way they line up.
"While Cork are at home and it’s a huge game for them, I think it’s going to be very hard to stop the progress that Waterford have been making over the last couple of years. I expect Waterford to win."
Also on Saturday evening is Dublin’s encounter with Galway at Parnell Park and Duignan believes that not all is well in the Dubs’ camp.
"I fancy Galway. Dublin are very difficult to beat in Parnell Park traditionally but if you look at last week, Galway claimed a good win while Dublin were very disappointing," Duignan said.
"Something to me is just not right with Dublin. You see Daniel Suttcliffe sitting in a TV studio last week and he’s one of the best young hurlers in the country.
"He should be involved with Dublin but there’s something not right in Dublin at the moment, they’re lacking spirit and Galway should be able to go there and win that one."