Westmeath captain Aonghus Clarke is adamant that the Lake County must be on top form if they are to get a rare victory over Laois on Sunday.
The sides meet in the Leinster SHC round robin series at O'Moore Park as both bid for a place in the knockout stages.
Sunday's loser will be on the backfoot straight away and Clarke stressed to the Westmeath Topic that they need to get a good start to the campaign and the only way to do that is to be at their best.
"If we can hit top form we have a good chance of beating Laois," said Clarke. "We can't wait for the game. We started off slowly in the league this year, but we came good later on and we are starting to move well now.
"It will be a step up in class, but we are hitting a bit of form now. Hopefully it will go well on Sunday.
"Laois will be strong and deserve to be favourites but it is all on the day. Last year you would have considered Offaly to be the top team in the group and we still went out and beat them so we have the ability."