Limerick vs Waterford and Kilkenny vs Cork predictions: JJ Delaney and Noel Connors make their picks
Kilkenny great JJ Delaney and retired Waterford star Noel Connors make their predictions for the All-Ireland semi-finals. Watch Limerick vs Waterford and Kilkenny vs Cork live on Sky Sports Arena.
Last Updated: 06/08/21 9:57am
The field will be halved in the race for the Liam MacCarthy Cup this weekend, with the All-Ireland semi-finals down for decision.
On Saturday evening, Limerick and Waterford face off in a repeat of the 2020 decider, before old foes Kilkenny and Cork meet on Sunday.
JJ Delaney and Noel Connors joined Inside The Game to preview the two clashes, and made their predictions.
Limerick vs Waterford, live on Sky Sports Arena from 4.45pm Saturday
JJ Delaney: "Everything needs to go well for Waterford. They need a huge, huge start. I've been very impressed with Peter Hogan and Jack Prendergast this year. They've brought more enthusiasm, more legs to this Waterford team. And they have the likes of Darragh Lyons coming on near the end as well.
"But I think they will need everyone to go 100% to stop this Limerick juggernaut at the moment. I just can't find a weakness in them. I'm looking at them for the last two years and I just can't find a weakness.
"If Limerick turn up and play to what we know they can play to, I just can't see Limerick being beaten to be honest."
Noel Connors: "I'll never go against my own. I think that if Waterford can do what they've been doing… A big element at this stage of the championship is momentum. And by God have Waterford got momentum.
"They're taking a lot of energy, particularly from the lads that are coming on. We saw Monty (Neil Montgomery) come on the last day. We saw lads come on and contribute.
"If Waterford can make the right decisions early on, I think they could be in with a shout."
Kilkenny vs Cork, live on Sky Sports Arena from 2.30pm Sunday
JJ Delaney: "If you're going to be very critical, you'd rather have a tougher test in the Leinster final. But it's another Leinster medal in these guys' pockets. It will bring a lot of confidence.
"I think they're in a good place. I think Eoin Cody is after stepping up immensely this year. He's a leader in that full-forward line. Adrian Mullen is a leader. Paddy Deegan back in the full-back line. I think they have a more settled unit than they had last year to be honest. They're not overly reliant on TJ Reid. He could win the game on his own, but we're not relying on him consistently anymore, which is brilliant.
"I can see Kilkenny going route one, going long into that full-back line of Cork. We saw Ronan Hayes, he won a couple of balls against Robert Downey. If Kilkenny get those opportunities, I think they'll get goals.
"If Kilkenny get a few goals on Sunday, I think they'll come out the right side of it."
Noel Connors: "I was at [Kilkenny's] game against Wexford, and it was a fantastic game. It was probably one of the best games I was at in, I don't know how many years.
"It was fantastic in terms of physicality, in terms of tactics, in terms of energy and passion for the game.
"Kilkenny, they always have this innate ability to be a point or two down, and just keep tipping away. They stick to the plan. They never deviate from the plan. And before you know it, they're three, four, five points ahead.
"A fair example of that was when they beat Limerick in the  All-Ireland semi-final. They didn't panic. They just played the game.
"Kilkenny don't lose semi-finals [often]. I know they got beaten by Waterford last year. But they don't lose semi-finals. So I will go with Kilkenny."
Watch Limerick vs Waterford from 4:45pm Saturday and Kilkenny vs Cork from 2:30pm Sunday live on Sky Sports Arena.