SATURDAY 28 JULY

Throw-in
Croke Park, 5pm

Online
Live blog on RTÉ.ie and the RTÉ News Now App from 4.30pm.

Radio
Live and exclusive national commentary on Saturday Sport, RTÉ Radio 1 from Marty Morrissey and Tomas Mulcahy.

TV
Live coverage on RTÉ2 and Sky Sports Arena, with highlights of the game, along with all the weekend's action, on The Sunday Game, RTÉ 2, from 9.30pm.

Available outside of Ireland and the UK on GAAGO

Past 5 Championship meetings

2016 Galway 2-17 Clare 0-17 (All-Ireland quarter-final)
2013 Clare 1-23 Galway 2-14 (All-Ireland quarter-final)
2011 Galway 4-25 Clare 0-20 (All-Ireland qualifiers)
2009 Galway 2-18 Clare 1-11 (All-Ireland qualifiers)
2007 Clare 2-10 Galway 0-14 (All-Ireland qualifiers)

It's a case of regular versus infrequent visitors to Croke Park at headquarters on Saturday.

Reigning All-Ireland champions Galway contest their fourth consecutive semi-final, following three years of titanic battles with Tipperary where the winning margin was a single point on each occasion.

For Clare, surprisingly, it's their first visit back to Croker since their 2013 title triumph.

Galway have looked as hungry for success as ever as they look to win back to back crowns for the first time since 1988.

They beat all comers in Leinster, and then repeated the trick against Kilkenny in the provincial final replay when nine of their players scored from play.

Cathal Mannion scored 0-06 from play against Kilkenny

Some saw the drawn first game as possible evidence of decline but in truth that was a great escape by the Cats who twice trailed by three points in the closing stages.

Galway's response to another attempted Kilkenny comeback in the replay was merciless as they scored eight of the last 10 points after Richie Hogan's goal and underlines their deserved status as All-Ireland favourites.

Clare have had a more undulating route to the semi-finals. They lost twice to Cork, in the opening round and the Munster final, but also impressed against Waterford, Tipperary and Limerick.

Second-year managers Donal Moloney and Gerry O'Connor will have been particularly delighted with the ease with which they seemed to get by Wexford in the quarter-final.

Tony Kelly looks to be back to the form that made him Young and Senior Hurler of the Year in 2013, scoring 0-05 from play against Wexford. If he and Peter Duggan can find their range tomorrow they'll be confident of putting it up to Galway.

Team news

Clare have kept faith with the same XV that started the impressive quarter-final victory over Wexford.

Galway make one change to the 15 who started in their Leinster final replay win against Kilkenny. 

Johnny Glynn replaced Conor Cooney for that game, in which he scored 1-01, but Cooney returns with Niall Burke the man missing out. Daithi Burke makes it after rumours about his fitness swirled during the week.

Galway: James Skehill; Adrian Tuohy, Daithi Burke, John Hanbury; Padraic Mannion, Gearoid McInerney, Aidan Harte; Johnny Coen, David Burke; Joseph Cooney, Joe Canning, Jonathan Glynn; Conor Whelan, Conor Cooney, Cathal Mannion.

Clare: Donal Tuohy; Patrick O’Connor, David McInerney, Jack Browne; Seadna Morey, Conor Cleary, Jamie Shanahan; Colm Galvin, Cathal Malone; Peter Duggan, Tony Kelly, David Reidy; Podge Collins, John Conlon, Shane O’Donnell.

Tony Kelly is in excellent form

Jackie Tyrell's verdict

"Clare are probably the one team out of the remaining semi-finalists that have the ammo to really trouble this Galway team.

"The athleticism they have in their forwards, the method of play the have, they can stretch that Galway defence. The diagonal balls that they use and the unorthodox Tony Kelly at 11, who will pull to the wings and run at Gearoid McInerney.

"In John Conlan they have the best full-forward in the game so from a forward's point of view they can really go at the Galway defence.

"The question mark is the Clare defence. Can they stand up to a Galway attack whose gears really seem to be clicking?

"You saw how easily they got scores against Kilkenny and the range of scores across the forward line.

"Can Conor Cleary hold strong under a high ball against Johnny Glynn? Will David McInerney sit deep and try to protect him or will he push up on Joe Canning?

"The battles of Tony Kelly v Gearoid McInerney and John Conlan on Daithi Burke will dictate this game but I think Galway have the flexibility to change if Kelly is causing trouble. They have a great chance."

Weather
Saturday will see sunny spells and scattered showers, with occasionally strong southwest winds and temperatures of just 16 to 18 degrees. For more go to met.ie.

Follow all the hurling this weekend via our live blogs on RTÉ.ie and the News Now App, watch television coverage of Galway v Clare on The Saturday Game Live, RTÉ 2, from 4.15pm and Cork v Limerick on The Sunday Game Live, RTÉ 2, from 2.45pm, or listen to exclusive national radio commentary of both games on Saturday Sport and Sunday Sport, RTÉ Radio 1. Highlights on The Sunday Game at 9.30pm on RTÉ2.