Consistency holds key to Dublin's prospects
IN a preview-friendly nutshell, we have ourselves here the battle of a team notorious for blowing extremes of hot and cold on any given day and one who sometimes exhibit an unwanted capacity for blowing both on the same day.
"Galway have some serious hurlers, a bit like Dublin over the last few years, both teams have been inconsistent, so it's a challenge for them to be consistent as well," noted Ger Cunningham in something of a dual appraisal of his team and their opponents in Croke Park tomorrow.
Consistency and performance are words used by Cunningham and his player so often, you'd be fairly sure everyone within the walls of the dressing-room they share is 'on message'. Because just like Anthony Daly's Dublin, Cunningham's have demonstrated an ability to blow any team off the pitch when all their moving parts move in conjunction.
And just like Daly's team, they've also given the impression that unless the grave stone has been erected above an opponent's coffin, they're never quite dead and buried.
As such, it almost doesn't matter who starts for Dublin tomorrow or even, in what positions.
Liam Rushe looks more at home now at centre-forward than he did at full-forward and after a couple of shakey moments, most notably against Cork in Croke Park, Conal Keaney seems to have fully adjusted to his move in the opposite direction.
Chris Crummey and Cian O'Callaghan provide plenty of athleticism in defence while the highly influential Danny Sutcliffe will return.
So all that's left for Dublin is to find that performance and maintain it for the duration.
Conversely, part of Galway's clandestine charm is despite their uprooting to Leinster, they always feel a little under cover going into matches like this.
Always - always - more questions than answers.
Why, for instance, can't Galway find a consistently-performing centre-back and full-back within the dense thicket of successful underage teams? Where will Joe Canning play? Who will step into the shoes of cruciate stricken Conor Cooney?
Where will Cyril Donnellan play following his repatriation with the squad?
"I think both ourselves and Galway won't be looking at that situation," added Cunningham of the unpalatable scenario facing the losers.
"It's a good opportunity to get to a Leinster semi-final. I think that's certainly our hope, thinking about other competitions and that sort of stuff doesn't come into it," he added.
"I think it's about looking forward to progressing in the Leinster championship and hopefully beating one of the top teams."
ODDS: Dublin 5/6, Draw 9/1, Galway 6/5
sHc: dublin v galway, croke park tomorrow 2.0 (Live rté2)