Weekend hurling previews: Throw-in times, TV details and verdicts

The Munster meeting of Clare and last year’s beaten finalists Waterford tops the bill

Saturday Leinster SHC quarter-finals

Dublin v Antrim, Páirc Tailteann, 3.0 – Live GAAGo
Dublin's flatlining fortunes are summed up by a league campaign which saw them win the matches they were expected to and lose the rest. The positive outcomes included this fixture, played in Parnell Park but overall Antrim had a better campaign, going unbeaten in two of the matches that Dublin lost.

Environmental factors for the county include winning the Leinster under-20 this week, counter-balanced by Eamonn Dillon’s season-ending injury. Then again he didn’t play when the teams met in May.

Antrim can improve on that afternoon when their free-taking went haywire – both from Conor Clarke and Neil McManus – and Domhnall Nugent caused trouble at full forward. There is though, a desperation about Dublin's situation that can pull them over the line but no one in the capital is particularly confident.
Verdict: Dublin

Wexford v Laois, UPMC Nowlan Park, 6.0 – Live GAAGo
It's been a tough time for Laois as bottom team in Division 1B. Despite manager Séamus Plunkett's enthusiasm, the team have been undone by injuries to key players and the relentless drum beat of losing all of their matches. They didn't roll over in Wexford at the start of the season but a late scoring burst inflicted a thrashing. Wexford will expect to be better with Kilkenny awaiting the winners but either way, it looks too steep a task for Laois.
Verdict: Wexford


Sunday Munster SHC quarter-final

Clare v Waterford, Semple Stadium, 3.30 – Live, RTÉ One
Since they beat Clare in last year's All-Ireland quarter-final, the pendulum has swung a fair bit against Waterford. As of now, they line out on Sunday with the spine of that team ripped out. Goalkeeper Stephen O'Keeffe retired, full back Conor Prunty joins long-term absentee Tadhg de Búrca on the injured list as does Jamie Barron at centrefield.

Tony Kelly, who injured an ankle before the start of last year's match in Cork, is back in the usual stunning form, Aidan McCarthy is also playing well and John Conlon's refit as a centre back has come on considerably.

That's a sizeable reversal of fortune. Given that Aron Shanagher hacked up under high ball at full forward even when Prunty was playing, finding a new full back is a headache for Liam Cahill. Speculation suggests that Shane Fives might get the nod.

Conor Gleeson is likely to be given the task of limiting the Kelly damage but he has had good experiences – not always to be fair – of being a go-to man marker and will bring energy to the task.

Cahill has done really well to introduce new panellists during the league and in the second half against Tipp, when none of the current injured were playing, they hurled up a storm, slotting in seamlessly to the fast moving game. But at best that still leaves a bench deficit, particularly as regular sub Patrick Curran is also believed to be out.

Any way you spin this, Waterford have taken a lot of setbacks since last year whereas Clare are on a roll, putting the poor start to the league behind them and finishing in form by beating Kilkenny. They'll have their eyes on this.
Verdict: Clare