1996 All-Ireland winner Tom Dempsey says he's never witnessed such a level of fanaticism and interest in hurling in Wexford as exists at present.

And he sees a sharp contrast in the levels of expectation on both Wexford and Galway ahead of today's Leinster hurling final.

Dempsey contends that the Wexford support is not yet eyeing silverware and is merely giddy at the sight of their side back among the powerhouses of the game. 

Whereas the Galway supporters, Dempsey argues, are thinking only of September and of Liam MacCarthy. 

And while he acknowledges that the Galway players have far greater experience of big matches in Croke Park, Dempsey believes that the differing levels of expectation on both teams gives Wexford a slight advantage.  

"There's an atmosphere and a buzz down in Wexford. You'd have to be down in Wexford to believe it. I've never seen such fanaticism about hurling in Wexford as there is at the moment," he told RTE Sport.

"But the fanaticism is about the fact that we're back as contenders, we're going up to enjoy the day but there's nobody talking about winning All-Irelands down in Wexford.

"There's nobody even talking about winning Leinster championships. It's just that the players are doing well, we're enjoying it and we're back as contenders again. And I think that's a nice way for Wexford to be going into the game.

"Whereas maybe with Galway, and I know they'll think I'm putting words in their mouth, they're looking at being favourites for the All-Ireland and there's an expectation of an All-Ireland title.  

"From that point of view, I think Wexford have an advantage. From the point of view of having experience of Croke Park, certainly Galway have an advantage."

Notwithstanding the added layer of pressure on the westerners, Dempsey does tip Galway to win this afternoon but he believes it will be a very interesting spectacle. 

"I tipped Galway to win the All-Ireland this year and I tipped them to win Leinster but the whole thing adds up to a very intriguing afternoon in Croke Park."