Eoin Larkin knows a thing or two about All-Ireland semi-finals.
The 8-time All-Ireland winner has been involved in his fair share of last four encounters throughout the years, coming out on top more often than not.
And the James Stephens clubman believes “you can’t bet against Kilkenny” at this stage of the championship.
Speaking to KCLR’s All-Ireland semi-final preview show, Larkin said: “All the talk has been about Munster hurling and GAA people will always fancy the Munster team, but Kilkenny are there on merit and I don’t think you can bet against them at this stage of the championship.”
Larkin feels that Kilkenny will have to be at their best to compete with a young and vibrant Cork side on Sunday afternoon.
“I think they’re going to have to play as well if not better than what they have done this year.
“I wouldn’t back against Kilkenny in an All-Ireland semi-final but Cork will bring a lot to the game and it will be tight. It’s a hard one to call but I think Kilkenny will have enough,” Larkin said.
There are two areas of concern for Kilkenny according to the 2008 Hurler of the Year.
“I think the two big worries are that Kilkenny have faced poor enough opposition so far and if Cork are allowed the space to hurl they could cause serious damage.
“A lot might come down to how the referee manages the game in terms of whether he is lenient or not.”
He also outlined what Kilkenny will need to do to get the better of Kieran Kingston’s side.
“Kilkenny need to be in Cork’s face to have any chance and if Cork get a number of goals we could be in trouble.
“There are a couple of aspects to the game that will be crucial but I think Kilkenny have a good chance of reaching the final.”