Jackie Tyrrell expects Cork to repeat their Munster SHC semi-final victory over Waterford on Sunday.
In his Irish Times column, the former Kilkenny star reckons the leadership qualities of Anthony Nash, Mark Ellis and Conor Lehane will see the Rebels through to an All-Ireland final date with Galway on September 3.
"From watching them this summer, I get the feeling Cork have those kind of leaders now," he writes.
"You wouldn't have said it about them in the past, but just the way they're coaxing their younger players through games, taking responsibility and driving on, they look mentally stronger than before.
"I'll give them a hesitant nod for Sunday on that basis."
He added: "Eight weeks ago, they stormed into Thurles and ruined Waterford's day with a great performance. But now they have to do it again or their season will have been ultimately unsatisfying."