Clare v Waterford: Preview, team news & live score commentary
Updated: February 24, 2013
Davy Fitzgerald comes face to face with his old charges for the second time in under a year, when Clare host Waterford at Cusack Park in Ennis this Sunday at 2pm.
Fitzgerald feels that his men need to make a serious step in the Allianz League this season. A former All Ireland winner himself, Davy says he just wants his team to compete and acquit themselves well. The Banner made great strides in last season’s promotion from 1B but fell well short against Kilkenny, and against Waterford in the Munster Championship.
Clare are likely to be well primed for the early season games, despite their managers insistence that they may struggle. Fitzgerald took last season’s campaign very seriously and they hit the ground running with a demolition of Limerick. One can be fairly certain that the Banner men will be well prepared for this match, and with personal pride at stake, Fitzgerald will be eager to take the points. The side have started the year well, beating Tipperary in the Waterford Crystal Cup Final. Waterford struggled in the league last season and following the retirement of talisman John Mullane, there may not be a better time for Clare to face the Deise. The latter just survived in the top flight in 2012 and are already bookies favourites to face the drop this year.
Clare are missing a number of star men with Brian O’Connell, Cian Dillon, Nicky O’Connell, Conor McGrath and Darach Honan all absent. Waterford face life without John Mullane and it will be a real test of the sides character to show what they can do without their former leader.
Clare are deserving favourites and with home advantage they will be difficult to beat. However, with a number of top players absent through injury they may be vulnerable and at 5/2, Waterford are generous value. The advice is to back the Deise at the price with Boylesports.