Sky Live: Limerick vs Kilkenny in All-Ireland Hurling Championship semi-final

Limerick face Kilkenny in the All-Ireland Hurling Championship semi-final on Saturday evening, live on Sky Sports.

The two counties have recent history, with Kilkenny dominating the first half of the decade. Limerick’s emergence saw them claim the 2018 All-Ireland title, and they come into Saturday’s tie as hot favourites as they look to take another step along the way to retaining their crown.

Talking points

Can Limerick buck the trend of Munster champions’ failures?

All-Ireland semi-finals haven’t been a happy hunting ground for Munster champions. In this decade alone, only twice have the Munster champions won their subsequent semi-final.

The outliers on bother occasions were Tipperary, when they beat Dublin and Galway in 2011 and 2016 respectively.

Can Limerick buck the trend? Their last provincial title came in 2013, after which they fell flat against Clare in the All-Ireland semi-final.

Since then, the gap has been reduced from five weeks to four, indicating that the transition period may be easier to handle.

Nonetheless, it’s not just the stats that Limerick are up against on Saturday evening – there’s also the small matter of a resurgent Kilkenny team who have thrived as underdogs over the last two seasons.

Can Kilkenny spring another upset victory?

As far as one-off victories go, Brian Cody won’t have had many wins as pleasing as the quarter-final triumph over Cork. The Cats were written off in all corners following their Leinster final defeat to Wexford, but mustered a gutsy performance to overturn the fancied Rebels at Croke Park.

One of the most impressive aspects of Cody’s tenure has been his ability to rebuild. Following disappointing campaigns in 2013 and 2017, they bounced back. Not many fancied them ahead of last year’s league final with Tipperary, as a young generation stepped forward to claim a national title.

However, although they may be making progress, success is only measured by one metric on Nore-side and that’s Liam MacCarthy successes.

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