GAA fanatic Keith Merchant (@kmerchant3) shares his thoughts on Saturday's .
Kilkenny v Waterford | Saturday 19:00 | Sky Sports
Kilkenny come into this on the back of a hard fought victory against a wasteful Limerick side who, if not for poor shooting, could have had Kilkenny in serious trouble last Saturday evening.
Kilkenny will have been very happy to have got the win to keep them in this year’s Championship but the biggest bonus of all was having the midfield powerhouse Michael Fennelly back from injury; he was outstanding and also won the Man Of The Match award.
My biggest concern (as stated last week) was their lack of scoring power and Saturday did nothing to change that. For example: if TJ Reid has an off day they’re in serious trouble and with an off-colour Richie Hogan and Ger Aylward again taken off because of a poor performances, it certainly is worrying.
Kilkenny will need to up a level or three to take on this Waterford team who will be purring at the chance to play the Cats.
Waterford who were beaten by Cork in the Munster Championship and on the day were terrible, but have since annihilated Offaly last Saturday by 24 points so should have given them a much needed confidence booster.
They have no shortage of talent in their squad, such as Austin Gleeson, Pauraic O'Mahony, Maurice Shanahan all of whom are capable of beating any team on any given day.
This Waterford team should be buzzing for this game and with a chance to make amends for last year's gut wrenching defeat by Kilkenny so I expect it all to be left on the field with what I expect them to not have a better chance of defeating an off colour Cats outfit.
The betting angle
Both teams come into this after a much needed confidence booster; Kilkenny are the favourites with the bookmakers at 4/5 and Waterford are 13/10, which tells all you need to know about this game.
In my opinion, I can’t honestly see a better chance for Waterford to overturn this Kilkenny team; I think you have to forget about previous meetings and go by what you can see.
In my case, Waterford are a must bet here and I’m not going to let my heart rule my head (being a Kilkenny hurling fan), so I’m going to look at two markets.
Waterford to win in 70 minutes (13/10 Paddy Power) and the double result market for a Waterford win at 7/2 (Paddy Power) as they must get off to a good start and put the pressure all on Kilkenny – if they do, there can be no more excuses for this quality young team.
Kilkenny v Waterford – Waterford to win (13/10 Paddy Power)
Kilkenny v Waterford – Waterford-Waterford (7/2 Paddy Power)