Dublin have enjoyed an excellent league campaign so far, but with that success comes pressure and Galway represent the first of three major tests the Metropolitans face in order to reach their first Division 1 final since 1946.
The Dubs have racked up wins against Tipperary, Offaly and Wexford, with a draw down in Waterford leaving them as the sole remaining unbeaten team.
However they now must take on the Tribesmen before facing off against the traditional powers of Kilkenny and Cork.
There were positives and negatives for Dublin boss Anthony Daly to take from the win over Wexford.
He will have been pleased that his charges were able to register 3-21 without their injured talisman Conal Keaney, with his replacement David O’Callaghan doing his claims for a regular starting place no harm whatsoever with a hat-trick of goals.
On the down side, however, Daly will be without captain Stephen Hiney for the rest of the season after the defender ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament at Wexford Park.
The Ballyboden St Enda’s clubman has been desperately unlucky with injuries throughout his career. In 2006, he was advised to hang up his hurl after he sustained a serious eye injury.
Johnny McCaffrey will take over the captaincy duties for the rest of the season.
The Dubs have Keaney back in the starting XV, but Daly has left a corner-forward berth unfilled as he awaits the outcome of Peter Kelly’s appeal against a four-week ban for a tackle on Offaly’s Joe Dooley that left the Faithful star requiring ear surgery. Daly has reviewed the video and claims that his player has been the subject of a ‘witch hunt’.
Galway’s prospects look infinitely better after a fortnight that saw them come from nine points down against Kilkenny to win by a point. That victory, augmented with Clarinbridge’s All-Ireland club success, leaves Galway hurling in a very good place at the moment.
Manager John McIntyre insists he won’t draft any new Clarinbridge players into his squad until after the league campaign, preferring to stick with the men who have secured three wins from their opening four games.
Joe Canning is still working his way back from injury and he is joined on the sidelines by Damien Hayes, Shane Kavanagh and Aidan Harte.
The Tribesmen will also have to run the rule over Ger Farragher (dead leg), David Burke (leg gash) and Joe Gantley (groin) before deciding on a line-up.
Galway will be seeking a measure of revenge for their Walsh Cup semi-final defeat to the Dubs in January, but on current form it is hard to bet against the men from the capital.