Former Kilkenny All-Ireland winner Kieran Joyce feels we are in for a “tough and close” affair between “two evenly matched sides” on Sunday when Kilkenny take on Cork in the All-Ireland SHC semi-final.
Speaking to KCLR’s All-Ireland semi-final preview show, the Rower Inistioge clubman gave an insight into why the relatively inexperienced Michael Carey has been given the nod at in the half-back line, an area which Joyce thrived in the black and amber for years.
He said: “A lot of the talk about Cork is the pace and I think that may be why Michael Carey has been introduced.
“They have a couple of key forwards that Kilkenny will have to keep an eye on, but if they can Kilkenny have the firepower to hurt Cork.”
Joyce also stressed the importance of keeping Cork’s dangerous full forward lune at bay.
“We have a solid full-back line but if Cork get space inside and there is a gap between the full-back line and the half-back line they can really hurt us.
“If we can keep it compact and go man-on-man, I think we’ll have the physicality to overcome Cork.”
The 4-time All-Ireland winner feels the impact of each sides bench will be crucial in what promises to be a tight affair.
“Both benches will be absolutely vital and they are always key in a tight game.
“I also think the weather might suit Kilkenny if it’s not great because it will nullify Cork’s shot passing game. If Kilkenny are going to win this game we are going to have to score goals.”