Anthony Daly reckons that Wexford are "certs" to reach the Leinster Hurling final this season.
The new format sees Kilkenny, Offaly, Galway, Dublin and Wexford play each other in a round-robin league with the top two meeting in the final.
Davy Fitzgerald’s side were well beaten by eventual All-Ireland champions Galway in last season’s decider but the former Clare defender says he has seen enough in the league to predict that there’ll be a return to Croke Park.
"I think they are probably certs to be in the Leinster final again," Daly said at the launch of RTÉ's GAA Championships coverage.
"I think the younger players are [ thinking] ‘this could be a chance of winning stuff here’. The Aidan Nolans, the Kevin Foleys [have come on].
"We were all looking at [Lee] Chin, [Matthew] O’Hanlon, Conor MacDonald, Jack Guiney, Liam Ryan, we knew was coming but what a full-back he is now. Damien Reck at corner-back.
"They have really stepped up. I saw a couple of league games at Wexford Park and I was really impressed.
"You’d fancy them to beat Dublin at home in the first one. Depending on how Offaly are going, you’d fancy them to go to Tullamore and win.
"That’s four points on the board with Galway coming to Wexford Park."
The Model County already accounted for the Tribesmen in the league, a win that set up a semi-final against Kilkenny. Daly feels that perhaps his former Clare team-mate didn’t exactly go hell for leather to get to the final.
They beaten by nine points on the day against the Cats.
"I thought they were exceptionally flat," said the ex-Dublin manager.
"I’m not going to second-guess the man [Davy] but I’m not so sure they were flat to the mat to win the league.
"I think he might have been wrong on that [approach]. If he was [going all out then] Kilkenny were just too quick on the day but I thought they looked very leggy, they looked flat.
"Maybe with one eye on going into Nowlan Park in the championship."
Fellow RTÉ GAA pundit John Mullane was not as optimistic on their chances.
The Waterford man said: "I worry [if] they have a strong panel, they’ve 18, 19 players, and one massive loss from last year is James Breen [opted out].
"TJ Reid will be very happy and if they go up and face Kilkenny, who is going to mark TJ Reid?
"We saw it in the league, TJ went to town. Jack Guiney is gone too. Panel-wise they are a bit light.
"I find it had to see them getting into the final."