FIXTURES

Sunday 4 July

Tipperary v Clare, 3.45pm, LIT Gaelic Grounds

ONLINE

Live blog on RTÉ Sport Online and the RTÉ News app.

TV

Live coverage of Tipperary v Clare on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player on Sunday, throw in at 3.45pm.

RADIO

Live coverage on Sunday Sport on RTÉ Radio 1.

WEATHER

Sunday will bring widespread heavy slow-moving showers with thundery downpours leading to spot flooding. Some bright or short sunny spells too. Humid and rather warm with highest temperatures of 16 to 20 degrees Celsius, in a light to moderate southerly breeze.

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Clare seeking to back up Waterford win against known quantity

The prognosis did not look good for Clare at the beginning of the league, their shock opening weekend loss to Antrim coming after a spring in which their county board politics managed to make national news - never a good thing.

Brian Lohan's team have rallied tremendously since then, finishing the league strongly with impressive wins over Dublin and Kilkenny before shunting 2020 All-Ireland finalists Waterford into the qualifiers last weekend.

Clare lost by six points to the same opposition in last year's All-Ireland quarter-final and were assumed to be underdogs in the lead-up, though in retrospect the lengthy injury list assailing Liam Cahill should probably have forced a re-think.

Tony Kelly slotting a free

In any event, the four-point margin in the finish scarcely did justice to Clare's dominance and it was only poor shooting which prevented them running up a double-digit margin.

The manager's decision to move former all-star forward John Conlon to centre-back now looks a masterstroke, the Clonlara player earning the Man of the Match gong for his towering display last week.

Tony Kelly at full-forward was also a surprising gambit, one which paid off, with the former Hurler of the Year snaffling 0-05 from play while reducing his marker Callum Lyons' influence on the Waterford attack.

They face into Tipperary now, whose league form did little to illuminate where they're at. They opened with two free-ridden televised draws against Limerick and Cork, won by five points against a experimental, slightly under-strength Galway, then won by an underwhelming margin against whipping boys Westmeath and finally lost well to Waterford in Walsh Park.

However, in Sheedy's first year back in '19, their league form was similarly plain and undistinguished and they exploded into life come championship.

Liam Sheedy and Paudie Maher after Tipp's final league game

The Nenagh Guardian have asserted that Tipperary require more than just a win against Clare - Sunday is about "laying down a marker" for Tipp in light of the fact that Limerick and Galway are both rated ahead of them in the pecking order by most pundits and observers.

Usually with Tipp in recent years, people squint at their championship team-sheet and conclude "not a lot of new faces there." But a rigorous analysis typically indicates the 'old' boys are worth their spot.

Paddy Cadell has yet to graduate from league regular to championship starter and Noel McGrath and Michael Breen are favoured in midfield.

It's same old for the most part, though Jake Morris, from the new generation, starts at corner-forward, while Barry Hogan is given his championship debut in goals.

TEAMS:

Tipperary: Barry Hogan; Cathal Barrett, Padraic Maher, Barry Heffernan; Brendan Maher, Seamus Kennedy, Ronan Maher; Noel McGrath, Michael Breen; Jason Forde, John McGrath, Dan McCormack; John O'Dwyer, Seamus Callanan, Jake Morris.

Clare: Eibhear Quilligan; Rory Hayes, Conor Cleary, Paul Flanagan; Diarmuid Ryan, John Conlon, Páidí Fitzpatrick; Colm Galvin, Cathal Malone; Aron Shanagher, Tony Kelly, Aidan McCarthy; David Reidy, Ian Galvin, Ryan Taylor

Follow all the championship matches this weekend with our live blogs on RTÉ.ie/sport and the RTÉ News app.

Watch Roscommon v Galway and Tipperary v Clare live on RTÉ2 (from 12.45pm Sunday) and see highlights of all the weekend's action on The Sunday Game at 9.30pm on RTÉ2.

Listen to live and exclusive national radio commentaries on RTÉ Radio 1's Saturday and Sunday Sport.