Armagh firm favourites to see off Fermanagh

According to the bookies, Armagh should be top of the Division Two table come nine o’clock Saturday evening, after claiming maximum points away from home.

The Orchard County are currently 4/9 favourites to overcome a Fermanagh side that has only picked up one win from their first four league fixtures.

The home side will have other ideas of course, and Ryan McMenamin’s side will not fear Armagh coming to Brewster Park.

The Erne County haven’t beaten Armagh in the league under Kieran McGeeney, with this being their 6th attempt in as many seasons.

The closest they have come was back in 2015 and 2018, although the best they could do was claim a share of the spoils.

Armagh fans will remember the damp encounter the 2018 league meeting turned out to be, with the game ending 0-7 to 0-7.

Fermanagh’s defensive mind-set has saw the games end in low scoring affairs, and low on the entertainment chart in recent years and Saturday’s meeting will be no different.

The narrative surrounding the Erne County is that they have turned a corner, and new manager Ryan McMenamin is trying to create a more expansive game plan.

It’s hard to imagine Fermanagh going toe to toe with Armagh this Saturday and the fans should expect the home side to drop back into their defensive shell.

Armagh certainly have the attack to trouble any defensive in the division, with the likes of Clarke, the O’Neill’s, Grugan and Campbell, so it’s hard to believe that Fermanagh won’t try to shut the game down early on.

Up front, the hosts are fairly limited and are missing the scoring talents of the Quigley brothers, Sean and Seamus, as well as Tomas Corrigan.

The burden of getting scores on the board has fallen on the shoulders of full forward Conall Jones, who has claimed 19 points so far in the league, leaving him the divisions 4th top scorer.

14 of those white flags raised have been from frees, so Armagh know good discipline in their defence is a must on Saturday evening.

Jones’ brother Ryan has been one of the stand out performers for McMenamin’s men, kicking an average of two points per game for Fermanagh this season.

He will be joined in centerfield by the towering Eoin Donnelly, forming one of the strongest midfield pairings in the province.

Against Kildare, Armagh lined the middle with huge men and the likes of Niall Grimley, Jarly Og Burns, Stephen Sheridan and the O’Neill brothers Rian and Oisin, can all give a hand around that central channel.

Kieran McGeeney will have been concerned by his side conceding 3-5 in their second half collapse against Westmeath, and could look to strengthen his back six.

There are a host of household names that haven’t seen much action so far in the league with the likes of James Morgan, Paul Hughes, Ryan Kennedy, Aaron McKay and Brendan Donaghy able to bolster that defence.

Whether all the above named are fit to play at the weekend remains unknown, but it would be surprising if Geezer doesn’t take some action in strengthening his defence.

Armagh have been fairly inconsistent in the league so far and their two worst results have come on the road, away to Laois and Westmeath.

They will want to ditch that trend this weekend and pick up two points that would see them restore their spot as league leaders.

At the other end of the table Fermanagh fear relegation if they fail to claim a victory and McMenamin will be confident that his side can produce a performance to upset the odds.