Leinster SHC – Laois v Wexford on Sunday at 2pm
The circus that is Davy Fitzgerald’s Wexford bandwagon rolls into Portlaoise on Sunday albeit without their driver, the aforementioned Davy.
Laois go into this game as the overwhelming underdogs after a successful round robin campaign and an average league. We fully expect Wexford to beat Laois on Sunday and feel they are far too short for a bet.
What has been noticeable about Laois this year so far has been their defensive frailties. They have had no problems putting up big scores but this will not be good enough with their concession rates. Throughout the 2017 season so far, they have coughed up goals on a regular basis. They have conceded 26 goals in 9 games (average 2.88 goals per game).
They have conceded two or more goals in every game except for their league game against Offaly. Offaly were down to 13 men for the second half and played with one player in the full forward line. Wexford scored 11 goals in seven games in the National League. Although they play quite defensively, we fully expect Wexford to score over 1.5 goals. We will have a 4pt stake at 8/15 in Paddy Power.
Leinster SHC – Dublin v Galway on Sunday at 4pm
After the events of last Sunday between Cork and Tipperary, Galway have now being installed as favourites for Liam McCarthy despite not pucking a sliothar.
Galway should take care of Dublin as long as old inconsistent Galway do not turn up. Galway are well able to score and have put up some serious tallies in the league. They have averaged 29 points a game during the league, while Dublin have conceded on average 24 points per game.
We feel that Galway’s forward line has been fantastic this year. Canning, Mannion, Flynn and Whelan have been on fire thus far and we believe this will continue this weekend. Dublin will line out with inexperienced players in their backs so expect Galway to target these and cover over 25.5 points. Our second selection is over 25.5 points, a 2 point stake at 4/5 in Paddy Power.
Munster SFC – Clare v Limerick on Sunday at 3.30pm
Clare surprised everybody by maintaining their Division 2 League status, putting in some strong displays along the way recording victories over Down and Cork while drawing with Derry.
They also only lost to Kildare by a point, missing a free deep into stoppage time to snatch the draw. Limerick, on the other hand, lost their opening three games in Division 4 which effectively erased any hope they had of gaining promotion.
They did rally to win their last four games but those victories came against London, Leitrim, Waterford and Wicklow. These sides met in the Munster Championship in 2016 when Clare recoded a three-point win on a score line of 0-16 to 0-13, but interestingly this weekend’s game will be played in Cusack Park, a ground in which Clare have an impressive record.
They won two out of their three home games there during the league and it promises to be an intimidating atmosphere for this inexperienced Limerick team. The Limerick squad which travels to Ennis, only has six players who have experienced championship football and stalwarts Ian Ryan and Seanie Buckley are unavailable for this game as they continue their recoveries from long-term injuries.
Clare, who recently defeated Tipperary in a challenge match by five points, will be looking to lay down a marker for the months ahead and we expect them to win against their neighbours.
We like Clare -3pts at 10/11 with Paddy Power and we will have a 2.5pts stake on that. Watch out for Clare forward Keelan Sexton to score a goal. The talented youngster bagged himself three goals during the league and is a tasty 9/2 to score a goal anytime on Sunday.
Connacht SFC – London v Leitrim on Sunday at 3pm
The newly revamped McGovern Park in Ruislip, London is the venue for this exciting Connacht Championship match. The summer of 2013 was a historic one for London GAA who reached the Connacht final after defeating Leitrim in a semi final replay.
Neither side will need reminding of this result, certainly not Leitrim who will be fully aware of the challenge ahead of them. This is why we think they have a great chance this weekend to beat London. Expectations will be high on a London victory, which will generate pressure on the home side to perform, especially with the opening of the new pitch and stand.
Losing Emlyn Mulligan is a big blow to Leitrim, but they still have some talented players that can see them over the line. Five of their six starting forwards are in line to make their championship debut, as Leitrim manager Brendan Guckian looks to blood some young talent. Let’s not forget their U-21 team went very close to beating Galway this year. The 4/5 on offer with Boylesports for a Leitrim win is very generous and we will have a 3pt stake on this. The game will be tight and tense, but with the Leitrim bench looking more experienced, they could end up being the difference here.
Elsewhere, Offaly take on Westmeath in the Leinster hurling championship and Derry and Tyrone go to battle in Ulster. We expect victories for Offaly and Tyrone here but feel the value lies elsewhere for this weekend. Keep an eye on our Twitter page for tips throughout the weekend.