Waterford v Kilkenny preview

Updated: March 11, 2012

After a two week break the Allianz Hurling League returns with a corker of a game as All Ireland Hurling champions Kilkenny travel to Walsh Park to take on Waterford, throw in 2.30pm.

Brian Cody’s men may have lost a number of senior players from their ranks but any questions surrounding their desire to do well in the league where answered ii no uncertain terms when they clinically defeated Tipperary, by 2-17 to 0-15.

Cody also has the luxury of picking from a full panel, save for the question mark over the fitness of their spiritual leader Henry Shefflin.

Speaking during the lead up to Sunday’s game, Eoin Larkin feels that the win against Tipperary will stand in side in good stead. “We were happy enough with the win you know.

“The bottom line is to get two points ahead of the Waterford game and we got that,” he said. “It’s probably easier getting back into the swing of things after winning an All-Ireland.

“Of course September was brilliant but once January comes around and you are back from the holiday, you know it’s back to the hard work again.”

Waterford, unlike Kilkenny suffered a league defeat at the hands of Cork in their last league outing.

Like his counterpart, Waterford manager Michael Ryan has a number of injury concerns ahead of the game. Aiden Kearney and Maurice Shanahan will both miss out. There is also a cloud hanging over the fitness of Noel Connors, who could miss out with a sciatica problem.

Despite these injury concerns, Waterford centre-back Michael Walsh, speaking during the week, feels that Waterford will be able to put it up to Kilkenny.

“Look, Kilkenny are the All-Ireland champions. They’re a super team and they’re probably the best team that has ever played,” Walsh said. “It’s not going to be an easy task for us but on the other side it’s going to be a great test to see where we’re at and what we have to do.”

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