Week three of the National Hurling League and there's some top-class encounters on offer.
Tipperary versus Galway is probably the most attractive fixture on offer. Tipp played out an entertaining draw with Cork last Saturday night but, as on their opening day, relied heavily on Jason Forde for scores.
Captain Seamus Callanan is still on the injured list and in his absence, Tipp need more attackers to step up to the mark than we’ve seen so far.
Galway have made nine changes to the team that defeated Limerick last weekend, with Joe Canning named in midfield.
A victory against another blueblood would surely see their case as pretenders strengthen and not only according to John Kiely.
Champions Limerick travel to Walsh Park for a repeat of last year’s Munster and All-Ireland finals against Waterford.
Limerick find themselves in the unfamiliar territory of having to respond to a defeat, such was the unbeaten run they’ve been on.
Much focus is on Limerick’s approach to tackling and it will be interesting to see who blinks first between themselves and the refereeing fraternity.
Waterford haven’t got out of the traps in 2021, but who knows what way teams are gambling on their training loads at the moment?
Liam Cahill spoke of the need to bulk up after last year’s final to match these opponents, but he’ll know that kind of gap isn’t closed in five months.
Elsewhere, Kilkenny host Wexford at Nowlan Park with Wexford aiming to continue their good run against the Cats, a fact that won’t go unnoticed in either camp.
Expect a bigger gap between Cork and Westmeath than the four-point margin from their last encounter, while Antrim meet Dublin in a dress rehearsal for their upcoming Championship date.
Both Laois and Clare meet on the back of respective losing streaks that would make our Eurovision entrants start to blush. Laois are the more likely to extend that streak.