Saturday 16 December 2017

Views from the outside looking in: Who will win and why?

Joe Canning: 'I think that Kilkenny will win. I suppose there is a lot less said about them this year, they are coming in a lot quieter and there is less pressure on them.

Not many people expect them to win and the motivation from last year after losing will be a big factor in it. Obviously, the two half-back lines are excellent; whoever wins the battles there will have a big say in the outcome. That's where both teams launch their attacks and whichever half-forward line comes out on top should be from the side that wins.'

Gavin O'Mahony

'I think Tipperary will win because they are scoring goals. I think both sets (of forwards) are unmarkable at the moment and they are both fairly even at the moment but I think if Tipperary hold Henry Shefflin, that will be the winning of the game. A few years ago, he was the difference in the sides; he pulled Kilkenny through and in that game Tipperary looked more like winning until Shefflin took over and that will be the same in today's final.'

Johnny McCaffrey

'I think Kilkenny will win. They will have learned a lot from losing last year's final and they will be hungrier. They are coming into this year's game under the radar, they are not going for five in a row and there is not much hype around them, but I think it will be very close. There will only be a couple of points between them in the end. Kilkenny got to a league final against us, missing a lot of their big names, then with each game they played since then they have got stronger and stronger.'

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