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The force is with Faithful to build on Kilkenny effort and dump deflated Déise

OFFALY v WATERFORD

(Tullamore, Tonight, 7.0)

THERE was something refreshing about how Offaly hurled against Kilkenny in Tullamore, even if they garnered nothing but lost pride from that clash.

To stick four goals on that defence is quite the feat and they exemplified how the right attitude can bring a team a certain distance against even the mightiest opposition.

So 'buoyant' would probably be the most apt description of the mood in Offaly as they prepare to take on Waterford in Tullamore, the memory of their 2010 scalping of Limerick at the same ground still fresh, no doubt.

Derek Morkam replaces the injured Cathal Parlon, Derek Molloy comes in at the expense of Conor Mahon while Dan Currams is added to a full-forward line that already boasts the scoring power of Shane Dooley and Joe Bergin and should, on paper anyway, chip in with a hefty tally.

Waterford, meanwhile, are in something of a slump and since their Munster defeat by Clare we've had John Mullane publically questioning Michael Ryan's tactical acumen and, this week, Brian Greene intimating that the Déise's fitness isn't what it should be. Not great signs at all and if Offaly can spark some belief by hurling well early on, they can disjoint Waterford enough to cause a mild surprise.

ODDS: Offaly 7/4, Draw 10/1, Waterford 4/7

VERDICT: Offaly

WEXFORD v ANTRIM

(Wexford Park, Today, 3.0)

BAR the suspension to Andrew Shore, Wexford can take great heart from their showings against Dublin in the last two weeks and, in truth, be thankful that they're not down a couple more bodies. Michael O'Regan is named at centre-back in place of the banned Parnell's man, while Podge Doran replaces Eoin Quigley.

ODDS: Wexford 1/7, Draw 14/1, Antrim 11/2

VERDICT: Wexford

LONDON v WESTMEATH

(Ruislip, Tomorrow, 4.30)

LIAM Varley (corner-back) and Aaron Craig (centre-forward) will make their debuts for Westmeath, who are to endure a hectic day, flying out to London just this morning and scheduled to return afterwards.

ODDS: London 3/1, Draw 11/1, Westmeath 3/10

VERDICT: Westmeath

CONOR McKEON


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