Galway’s forward flair could have the edge

National pundits on Sunday's Leinster final

Denis Walsh (Sunday Times )

Who will win: Dublin

There are two reasons why I would be go for a Dublin win. Firstly - we have not seen the Galway of 2012 yet. Their defeat in the league semi-final was worrying and their performance against Laois in the championship was also disappointing. They probably planned to peak later in the year and that is understandable. However I would have concerns about their ability to find their top form, and it will not be easy to replicate the terrific performance they had in last year's Leinster final.

Pound for pound, Galway are a better hurling team than Dublin, but I am not convinced that they know their best starting 15 yet, and their form has been patchy.

Secondly, Dublin have a lot of momentum coming into Sunday and they will be full of belief after beating Kilkenny last weekend.

The past few weeks and being on the back of four tough championship games has to be of benefit to them and I think that Anthony Daly has them in very good shape and playing with a lot of confidence and with great tenacity and work-rate.

They are on a roll and they will believe that after beating Kilkenny, they can do the same to Galway this weekend.

Galway could come out and blitz Dublin as they did to Kilkenny last year, and it is only a hunch, but I think Dublin will shade it.

Damien Lawlor (Sunday Independent )

Who will win: Galway

I think that Galway have the more natural attackers.

In the likes of Joe Canning, Davy Glennon, Cyril Donnellan and Damien Hayes, if he is selected, they have better forwards.

They got a wake-up call against Laois and I assume they will heed that call and will have worked really hard over the past few weeks in training.

Dublin are on the back of four tough games and will be playing their fifth game in a row on Sunday, so I would imagine that physically and mentally that has taken a big toll.

They have improved as they have gone along, and that is a plus for them, but I think that Galway will be fresher and will have been planning for a Leinster final for the past few months. They will be well geared up for this one.

Galway will have to use Joe Canning correctly and show more flair up front than they did against Laois, but I think they will do that. They have a bigger scoring threat than Dublin and, if they get supply, that should win them their second Leinster title.

Dublin only play with four forwards up front and it makes things very congested at the other end, but Galway should have the talent and experience to deal with that.

A concern I would have for Galway, though, is will they be able to adjust from thinking about facing Kilkenny in a Leinster final to playing Dublin?

If they can get over that, I expect them to win with a few points to spare.

Diarmuid O'Flynn (Irish Examiner )

Who will win: Galway

Galway have been sitting in the long grass for the past few weeks waiting for this game and they should be really fresh and strong. The spotlight has been totally off them and that should have given the management team an ideal opportunity to fine tune things and have them in top order for Sunday.

Some of their injuries are clearing up and, while they were poor at times against Laois, they will have learnt a lot from that game and it will have brought them on.

Dublin have been involved in big games every weekend for the past month and they have all been knock-out games in the Leinster championship, so I think they will find it hard to get back to the intensity and focus they had last weekend against Kilkenny.

I know the top teams play big games every week in the premiership, but they are not knock-out games and Dublin will find it difficult to come back up after their clashes and the big win they had last Saturday over Brian Cody's team.

Either way, I expect it to be a really terrific game and a great occasion.

It is east versus west and there is a great novelty to the final. I for one am really looking forward to it, and, while I expect Galway to win, I don't expect it to be easy, or there to be much between the teams at the finish.

 

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