GAA Expert & Columnist
Jamesie O'Connor: Tipperary under pressure as Wexford have nothing to lose
Watch Wexford vs Tipperary live on Sky Sports Arena from 2.30pm on Sunday
Last Updated: 26/07/19 1:27pm
Sky Sports analyst Jamesie O'Connor looks ahead to Sunday's All-Ireland semi-final between Tipperary and Wexford.
Going back to my own playing days, you couldn't underestimate the air of confidence that can be got from provincial titles for counties that aren't necessarily used to winning them.
For Clare in the 1990s, when we got to Croke Park, the pressure was off in so many respects. There's so much goodwill around the county towards the team, and expectation is lifted.
It's definitely like this again in Wexford. The supporters will be hoping it's like 1996 all over again. They're going to come in big numbers at the weekend.
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If Tipperary are beaten on Sunday, it's a disappointing year for Liam Sheedy's side.
But Wexford are the only one of the four teams playing this weekend that could lose, and still look back on 2019 as a success. Winning a Leinster title was massive for Davy Fitzgerald and the players, and that gives them an element of freedom.
The Yellowbellies will have gotten a serious lift from winning the Bob O'Keeffe Cup. Davy will have studied the Munster final and Tipp's win over Laois - this isn't the Tipperary of 2016. A lot of their players are struggling for form, they've lost 'Bonner' Maher, and they look like a team that certainly don't have the same fizz like they did earlier in the summer.
I don't think Wexford are favourites, but they do come into the match in a great position in terms of how they're feeling.
But they certainly have a chance, there's no doubt about it.
Limerick blew a few holes in the Tipp aura in the Munster final. I don't think the Premier saw that performance coming from the Treaty.
It remains to be seen - will the residue of that still be there at the weekend? Because if it is, it doesn't bode well for them.
They were sluggish in the quarter-final win over Laois, but they got the job done. That game was always going to be about the result rather than the performance.
For Liam Sheedy, you get the sense that he parked the Limerick defeat - it happened, now what could they learn from it?
'What do we need to correct? What deficiencies do we need to address?'
They're still two games away from an All-Ireland title.
I fancy Tipp to get through.
They have what it takes to score a few goals - they have guys who know how to unlock a defence. Not every forward line in the country has those players; guys with the vision and the ruthlessness to see when the goal is on.
If Tipp get ahead and get five or six points clear, the game will then be played on their terms. There's enough experience and professionalism in their side to see it out from that position.
Time is running out for this group of players.
It takes such an effort to get to this stage of the summer, they're 70 minutes away from being back in the final, and once you get there, it's a 50-50 game. I don't see them letting it slip.
It's a dangerous game for them, Wexford have a lot of legs, and will be able to keep tight and suck them into a war, but I just think Tipp just have enough craft and class upfront to find a way to get the goals they'll need.
Sky Sports' live GAA coverage continues this weekend, with the All-Ireland Hurling Championship semi-finals down for decision.