Armagh hope to hold upper hand in derby clash

In recent years, Tyrone have held the upper hand when these two side clashed. But this weekend feels much different.

It’s the third meeting in two months, but of course everything has been pointing to Sunday’s clash.

The charity game just before Christmas helped blow away a few cobwebs while the McKenna Cup meeting came just after Tyrone returned from their holidays.

While the Red Hand County weren’t at full strength, Armagh enjoyed their first victory over their old foes since 2014.

Kieran McGeeney’s men head into this weekend with huge momentum. Not only did they travel down to Croke Park and put on a show last weekend, but they did so in dominant fashion.

Rian O’Neill and Rory Grugan had the freedom of the park. The Mackin brothers Connaire and Ciaran along with Jarly Og Burns were also superb.

Goals from O’Neill and Jason Duffy helped Armagh earn their first win over the Dubs since 2008.

There’s a feel-good factor around the Orchard County at the minute. How the Red Hand County would love nothing better than to topple McGeeney’s men.

They head to the Athletic Grounds with Sam Maguire safely in their possession. They won’t be threatened by Armagh’s fantastic display last weekend.

Jason Duffy in action against the Red Hand County in the McKenna Cup
Photo Credit: Richiespics

Key Players

Fergal Logan and Brian Dooher witnessed their side scrape through with a draw at home to Monaghan last Sunday.

They fielded a much stronger team that we witnessed in the McKenna Cup, with more All-Ireland stars taking the pitch.

Cathal McShane was back on the edge of the square. His clash with Aidan Forker will be worth keeping an eye on.

Defensively, Tyrone can still call upon their All-Star winners Padraig Hampsey and Peter Harte, not to forget the 2021 Player of the Year Kieran McGeary as well.

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Conor Meyler lined out in the half forward line against the Farney men but as we witness last year, he can play just about anywhere.

Perhaps he’ll be hauled back into the defence to shadow Grugan, who was immense against the Dubs.

That would leave Hampsey free to tie up Rian O’Neill. That’s a battle that could decide the outcome of the game.

Division One couldn’t be any tighter, as the first-round results proved. Two points on Sunday are crucial for both teams.

Not only that, but the bragging rights between the two rivals are also up for grabs in what should be a thrilling game.