Line ups and match ups

Armagh have released the same 15 that they named for their first-round clash against Derry, which didn’t take the field.

It’s likely that the one named this week won’t start either as Kieran McGeeney has plenty of options in his squad.

Greg McCabe and Jarlath Og Burns were handed starting roles the last day out while the likes of Brendan Donaghy and Andrew Murnin have saw no action so far.

Read back our preview of today’s game!!

Donegal have yet to release a team but there shouldn’t be too many changes to the one that saw off Tyrone two weeks ago.

Neil McGee, who left the field due to injury at the interval that day, has been confirmed fit to take part today.

Patrick McBrearty didn’t appear in their win over the Red Hands, but like McGee, is reported to be injury free heading into this game.

So, as it appears, if Armagh are to reach the Ulster Final, they’re going to have to beat a fully fit Donegal team.

How the teams may line up from the start today

Crucial match ups

To start, Armagh are going to have to get their match ups spot on if they are going to be in with a chance of causing an upset.

The big question mark appears to be who will be handed the daunting task of picking up Michael Murphy.

While the Donegal captain has a free role and can wander around the pitch, we could see him mover closer to goal today.

There is a perceived lack of height in the Armagh full back line and this is a weakness that Declan Bonner may look to expose.

Kieran McGeeney appears to have two options. Place Aidan Forker on Murphy and allow the Maghery man to play his own game while keeping a mindful eye on Donegal’s star man.

While man-marking, Forker will also look to bomb up the field and in doing so, drag Murphy to the far side of the pitch.

Or, Geezer could choose Stephen Sheridan to track every move Murphy makes, even following him to the edge of the square if called upon.

Watch our preview podcast with Paddy Savage, Ciaran McKeever and Kevin Cassidy!

Either way, Armagh will have to limit Murphy’s influence on proceedings if they are to be in with a chance.

Inside, you have they deadly duo of Brennan and McBrearty who are likely to stay close to goal all day long.

Armagh’s man markers Paddy Burns and Ryan Kennedy will pick up the corner forwards and will hope to at least break even.

If Sheridan goes with Murphy, this leaves Forker and Morgan picking up half forwards in Niall O’Donnell and Ciaran Thompson while Conor O’Neill goes to Michael Langan.

Callum Cumiskey is likely to hold the sweeper role if he starts todays encounter and will spearhead plenty of his sides counterattacks.

Mark Shields is nailed on to push up to wing half forward and shadow Ryan McHugh but will want to impose his own stamp on the game.

Either Sheridan are Forker will be handed the role of marking Murphy!


Donegal have some huge men out around the middle of the park, and they are all quality footballers as well.

Against Tyrone, Langan and Thompson held the scoring burden, scoring 1-9 of their sides final tally of 1-13.

Jason McGee or Caolan McGonigle will partner Hugh McFadden in the middle of the park and go toe-to-toe with Oisin O’Neill and Niall Grimley.

While Murphy may devote some time on the edge of the Armagh square, he will spend most of his day at centerfield.

Check out our combined 15 between the Armagh and Donegal squads with Paddy Savage and Frank Craig!

Armagh may look to the likes of Jarlath Og Burns from the start to help with the physical stakes around this area.

Donegal were hugely impressive off the Tyrone kickout and Armagh will look to match their big men today.

Blaine Hughes’ restarts are going to be absolutely crucial and if both keepers decide to go long, we could witness an incredible battle in the middle.

Armagh are going to turn this section of the pitch into a warzone and deny Donegal any time or space.

While they line the middle with monsters, there’s the likes of Ryan McHugh and Eoghan Ban Gallagher who will be underneath for the break ball and Armagh will be wary of the threat they bring.

Donegal’s defensive duties

Neil McGee has been the standout man-marking full back in Ulster for years now and highly regarded throughout the country.

He will relish an opportunity to go up against Rian O’Neill this afternoon if the pair cross swords at the edge of the square.

However, Armagh may look to bring Rian further out the park to help around the middle leaving Donegal with a serious headache.

McGee is unlikely to track the Crossmaglen star, so Declan Bonner will have to detail someone else to do the man-marking duties at centre-field.

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Stephen McMenamin will pick up Jamie Clarke from the start and while Paul Brennan may sit off in the sweeper role as Cumiskey does the same at the far end.

Rory Grugan was outstanding the last day out, hitting three points, and is such an important figure for the Orchard County.

Eoghan Ban Gallagher may wear the number four jersey, but he is much more suited to the half back line where he will match up with Grugan.

That leaves Mogan picking up Stefan Campbell and both Mogan and Gallagher are attack-minded players.

Armagh will be wary of the half back lines attacking threat and Kieran McGeeney will have a plan in place to prevent any problems it may pose.