Leinster Championship Round 5 - Round-Robin

SATURDAY

Dublin v Galway, Parnell Park, 7pm.

Wexford v Kilkenny, Innovate Wexford Park, 7pm.

TV

Wexford v Kilkenny is live on Sky Sports. Live overseas on GAAGO. Highlights of both games on The Sunday Game on RTÉ2, and the RTÉ player, at 9.30 on Sunday night.

ONLINE

Live blogs on RTÉ.ie and the RTÉ News Now App from 6.30pm on Saturday.

RADIO

Updates on RTÉ Radio 1's Saturday Sport.

WEATHER

A chance of a shower in north Dublin on Saturday evening, while the sunny south-east should live up to its nickname, with dry weather forecast there. For more, head to met.ie.

A measure of Dubs' progress?

For excitement, the Leinster hurling championship has been the clear winner so far in the summer of 2019.

Galway and Wexford go into the final round of fixtures unbeaten, and yet neither is guaranteed a Leinster final place, or even a top-three finish. Conor Neville has all the permutations covered.

Dublin host the Tribesmen, and they come in as the long shots of the four.

Michael Donoghue's side have been in three of the last four All-Ireland finals, winning in 2017. Even without Joe Canning, who is rumoured to be close to a return, they're a formidable outfit, as they showed at Nowlan Park last weekend.

Is there hope for the Dubs?

Well, the absence of the aforementioned Canning has definitely left Galway lacking in the free-taking department, and Jason Flynn didn't have the best of days in the win against Kilkenny.

The Dubs have had their own problems there though, with David Treacy, Paul Ryan, and Seán Moran all being deployed, at different stages, on the deadballs this summer.

The Blues have undoubtedly been heading in the right direction over the last 15 months, firstly under Pat Gilroy, and then under former Cuala supremo Mattie Kenny.

The Tynagh native has steered Dublin to wins over Waterford and Tipperary in the league, the latter being a first for the Metropolitans at Thurles since 1946.

Dublin last beat Galway in Championship in 2013

Have they improved enough to turn over a side that have beaten them in four consecutive games, between league and championship? It's a big ask, although Shane Barrett having his red card against Carlow rescinded is a boost.

RTÉ's hurling analyst Michael Duignan isn't convinced.

"Beating the Cats will do a lot for their (Galway's) confidence," he said. 

"Cathal Mannion was outstanding. In Conor Whelan, Brian Concannon, Jason Flynn and Johnny Glynn they have great options up front.

"Dublin will cause Galway trouble running at them as they are suspect at the back. But the Dubs don't have a TJ Reid, they don't have that individual brilliance."

Teams:

Dublin: Alan Nolan; Paddy Smyth, Eoghan O'Donnell, Cian Hendricken; Chris Crummey, Sean Moran, Darragh O'Connell; Sean Treacy, Tom Connolly; Conal Keaney, Danny Sutcliffe, Cian Boland; Fergal Whitely, Ronan Hayes, Eamonn Dillon.

  

Can Wexford beat the Cats again under Davy?

That sets us up for what should be the game of the weekend at Wexford Park. Wexford versus Kilkenny has been rekindled in recent years following the Yellowbellies' victory at the same venue back in 2017.

In truth, the rivalry had been somewhat diluted in the 13 intervening years between that win, and Wexford's last win over their fiercest rivals back in 2004.

The Cats had demolished their eastern neighbours on a regular basis, including particularly stark margins back in 2007 and 2008.

But that's all ancient history to this current crop of Wexford hurlers, who have grown used to putting it up to Brian Cody's team since Davy Fitzgerald took over.

They nearly managed back-to-back Championship wins over Kilkenny, leading by nine points at one stage last year at Nowlan Park, before the hosts fought back to scrape a win by a point.

Wexford will be hoping for a repeat of 2017

When Wexford have been good this year, in second-half spells at Parnell Park and Salthill, they've looked as though they could mix it with the best of them.

However, inconsistency has been a regular theme of Fitzgerald's post-game interviews, and they won't be able to afford such lapses against the wounded Cats this weekend.

For Cody, he knows that a draw would be enough to get them into a Leinster final, but he'll be taking no such risk after last weekend's defeat to Galway, a first at home in the Championship since 1949.

Kilkenny will be determined to put that loss behind them as quickly as possible, and what better place to start than at the home of your biggest rivals?

For Michael Duignan, one man will tip the scales in Kilkenny's favour on Saturday evening.

"To me it's all about one man and that man is TJ Reid. He got 2-12 against Dublin, 1-12 against Carlow and 2-11 against Galway, with many scores from play. He has been unbelievable."

Follow all the Leinster hurling action this weekend via our live blogs on RTÉ.ie/sport and the News Now app, with highlights of both games on The Sunday Game on RTÉ 2, and the RTÉ player, at 9:30 on Sunday night.