Ahead of this weekend's All-Ireland final between Kilkenny and Tipperary, Daithí Regan pin-pointed the key battles and decisions that will decide the winner.
Three-years after last meeting in the championship, Daithí Regan does not expect there will be a repeat of Tipperary's dominant defeat of Kilkenny this weekend.
A result that appeared to signal the demise of Brian Cody's aging team, the belief that Michael Ryan's men would bring about a period of superiority for Tipperary hurling never ultimately materialised.
As Galway and Limerick recorded All-Ireland wins in '17 and '18, the 2019 final signals a return to normality as the decade's most successful counties return to Croke Park for the All-Ireland final.
Tipperary will not take Kilkenny for granted
The outstanding side of the championship up until their Munster final defeat to Limerick, Tipperary's road to the All-Ireland final has nevertheless been more impressive than that of their opponents.
Recording two wins from four before losing the Leinster final to Wexford, should Kilkenny win their eighth and most decisive game at the weekend, they will have unusually won an All-Ireland despite not winning three of their games.
"If you look at the evidence of the All-Ireland in 2014," suggested Daithí Regan, "that would cause enough worry for Tipperary to say that there's nothing between these sides.
Brian Cody will pay close attention to Tipperary's semi-final defeat of Wexford
"Wexford asked enough questions to concern me about the Tipp half-forwards," he suggested, "and they asked questions of Tipp that I don't think they've been asked before.
"I think Cody will have gone to town on the analysis of Wexford to check if there's anything he can pull out of this and if anyone can do it, Kilkenny can."
Space is essential to Tipperary's hopes of success
The star of Tipperary's All-Ireland final win in 2016, Seamus Callanan comes into Sunday's game in alarming form.
Afforded too much space in the final three-years before, Daithí believes it will be essential to Kilkenny's chances of winning that they eradicate this factor.
"Tipperary are always trying to create space," he suggested, "but Kilkenny cannot allow that happen.
"This must be congested in Kilkenny's half-back line.
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