Tipperary host Cork in a renewal of one of hurling's fiercest rivalries at Semple Stadium on Sunday.

Cork have only won one of the last seven Munster championship meetings between the sides and that year, 2010, Tipp went on to win their last Liam MacCarthy Cup.

Former Galway manager Anthony Cunningham warns that though the Rebels might fall short again in this weekend's Munster quarter-final, they will push Tipperary all the way and they have much less to lose than the reigning provincial champions.

"Cork have really focused on this match an trained specifically for it all year. They weren't too pushed really in the early parts of the league," he told RTÉ Sport. 

"It would have a huge knock-on effect for Tipperary if they didn’t get over the match on Sunday. The expectation of the supporters is far higher in Tipperary than in Cork presently.

“There’s probably always a question with Tipperary. Do they have a weak spot mentally? They would be expected to have a big performance on Sunday but if they don’t, it’ll be tough on them.

“Cork are in a rebuilding phase. They’ve got rid of some of their older players, surprisingly maybe (in the cases of) Pa Cronin, Shane O’Neill and Paudie O’Sullivan.

“They have a very strong backroom with the Rock (Diarmuid O'Sullivan), Pat Hartnett, Frank Flannery’s an excellent coach, and (manager) Kieran Kingston brings a lot of experience to it, having being there with Pat Ryan for a number of years.

"The Rebels are never short in confidence. They won’t want for anything in organisation and they’ll be really driven. They will try and impose themselves physically on the game.

“Even if they don’t have a good match they could have a good run in the qualifiers. It’s not the end of the world for them if they lose."

Tipperary Cork preview

The Galway man, himself a double All-Ireland winner as a player, agrees with Liam Sheedy that Tipperary haven't fulfilled their promise in failing to add to that 2010 victory.

"Most definitely," he said. "Mentally, they probably haven’t put their hands up and taken the responsibility as players for that.

“There are question marks over how strong they would be mentally.

“The mental challenge and the mindset eats up gameplans and strategies. It will be down to that in the last 20 minutes of a Munster Championship match. Games can turn on a knife-edge.

“I think that bit of extra experience that Tipperary have will get them through. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a narrow win for Cork but we’ll go with a small win for Tipperary.”

Cunningham suggests both sides are stronger in attack than defence and, consequently, he expects to see plenty of green flags waved in Thurles.

“I would say you’ll probably see a good few goals on Sunday. You would have question marks over both full-back lines," he said.

“The Cork full-back line leaked a lot of goals in the League and in the Championship last year.

“It’s probably their weakest line; compared to their forwards... Seamus Harnedy, Pat Horgan, Conor Lehane, who would be huge ball-winners and skilful players.

“Harnedy apart, there might be questions over their attack from a physical point of view but definitely not skill-wise.

“Lehane has a huge amount of speed, Horgan is a clinical finisher, Harnedy is the most honest player they have. He has huge potential, is extremely strong on the air and loves the physical combat.

“There are also questions over Tipperary’s full-back line. It’s probably their weakest line. I don’t think Cathal Barrett and James Barry have shone to the level that you need.

“The defending against Clare in the league quarter final, to concede a late goal to Aaron Shanagher, was very poor. Lapses on Sunday like that will cost them goals.

“But from Michael Breen up, there’s probably not a better set of forwards and midfielders in the country.

“I couldn’t understand how Jason Forde wasn’t on the team the last few years, he’s an excellent hurler. Niall O’Meara was there last year, Bubbles O’Dwyer...

“John McGrath is a huge find to supplement the skill of Seamie Callanan, who hasn’t played that much in the league."

Dublin and Wexford start their Championship campaigns in Croke Park on Saturday night and Cunningham expects the Dubs to advance to a Leinster semi-final against Brian Cody's all-conquering Kilkenny.

“Dublin have been very quiet and while they did quite well in the league I think they were really focused on the championship.

“They would have been disappointed with their last match against Limerick but they have the more balanced team and they’ll go and win this match.

“Their defence is quite good. Paul Schutte’s back, an excellent corner-back, Oisin Gough, another Cuala man on the other corner, and Cian O’Callaghan at full-back.

“They have arguably the best centre-back in the country in Liam Rushe. It’s his best position and he’ll go on and dominate matches from there.

“Up front Niall McMorrow and Eamonn Dillon were a huge plus in the league for them. David Treacy is always very threatening. They’ll look to Mark Schutte to get back to championship form."

The Model County looked to have made a breakthrough after wins over reigning champions Clare and Waterford two seasons ago but limped out last year after comprehensive defeats to Kilkenny and Cork.

“I think they would have been very disappointed with last year," said Cunningham. "Their league form was up and down. In 2014, they got excellent results and didn’t build on it.

“Wexford did very well against Waterford (in April's league quarter-final). Lee Chin, Matthew O’Hanlon, Harry Kehoe and Conor McDonald would be their top players but have they got the strength in depth, in their half-back line in particular?

“They need to support Conor McDonald in the full-forward line. He’s still very young.

“Liam Dunne and Ger Cush have done huge work with this team and I wouldn’t be surprised if they make quite a good game of it.

“But Dublin overall, especially in Croke Park, like a fast, open running game and that will suit them on Saturday.

“If Wexford bring the game that they brought to Kilkenny in last year’s championship – getting caught a lot in possession with short interpassing, Dublin will expose that."

In the Leinster qualifier group, Offaly have the chance to rescue their season by beating up-and-comers Kerry in Tullamore on Sunday.

Both sides have already lost heavily to Westmeath, who will face Galway in the Leinster quarter-finals. The winner of this clash earns a last-right spot against Laois.

“Kerry will be really up for this," suggests Cunningham. "They were probably disappointed with their heavy defeat against Westmeath, who have been the team of the round-robin to date. They’ve had excellent performances and neither Offaly nor Kerry could live with them.

“I would think that Kerry would run Offaly very close and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Kerry go on and win.

“The confidence will be very low in Offaly. They struggled even against 13-man Carlow and were only a couple of points to the good with five minutes to go.

“Kerry are much better organised this year through Ciaran Carey and the players have really knuckled down.

“They’ve had some good performances in the league. When they weren’t in touch the last day it was disappointing for Kerry but they’ll go very close to beating Offaly.”

Dublin v Wexford (Saturday 7.15pm) and Tipperary v Cork (Sunday 4pm) will be shown live on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player, with live commentary on RTÉ Radio 1 and live blogs on RTE.ie