After two wins in their opening two games of the Leinster Championship, Henry Shefflin believes the pressure is very much off Kilkenny and on Galway in Salthill on Sunday afternoon.
Kilkenny have ground out wins against Dublin and Offaly, while Galway had their bye week last weekend following the defeat of Offaly in round one a fortnight ago.
"Kilkenny are probably not playing as well as they were in the latter stages of the league," Centra Hurling ambassador Shefflin told Balls.
"I think that's pleasing as well because it's very early in the year yet. They're grinding out the wins which they found a bit difficult to do last year.
"The pressure is off now for the rest of the round robin series. For a new team going to Galway, the pressure is going to be more on Galway."
The ten-time All-Ireland winner believes Galway will have a little too much for Kilkenny at this stage of the championship.
I think Galway will probably be too strong. Kilkenny are probably not up to speed yet. I've yet to see a big performance from Kilkenny.
I think there's too much riding on it for Galway. They're All-Ireland champions, they haven't really set the world alight. This is their first big test. It's obviously in their backyard.
I think because of that, Galway might just have too much for Kilkenny this weekend. From a Kilkenny point of view, that's not the end of the world. A good performance from Kilkenny will stand to them.
In Kilkenny's opening round game against Dubin, Pat Gilroy's defence - Eoghan O'Donnell in particular - wrapped up TJ Reid. Kilkenny's star player managed just two points from play, the rest of his 12-point total came from placed balls.
Shefflin doesn't like the style tactics which were utilised on Reid.
"It's very hard. In my day, there wasn't as much of it. It's really football-style now. I was watching the game on TV because I was working. From speaking to people who were at it, the player doesn't leave the other player away, he doesn't have any interest in the ball.
"From a forward's point of view, it's something I don't like, to be honest with you; if he's just hugging him and pulling his jersey slightly, it still should be a free.
"It's very difficult for the attacking player to get used that style of play.
"What you will see, if that continues, is TJ dropping into full-forward or corner-forward where it's one-on-one. I think you might see a little bit of movement around like that to get him a little bit of freedom."
Centra’s #WeAreHurling campaign celebrates the passion displayed by those in Ireland’s collective hurling community and shines a light on those who devote their lives to the game, helping to make our national sport a pillar of Irish pride. In attendance is Centra Ambassador former Kilkenny hurler Henry Shefflin during the Centra Hurling Media Launch at Glasnevin, Co Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile