Our starting team – Armagh v Donegal

On The Sideline Eye podcast this week, Aaron Kernan helped pick our starting team to take on Donegal this weekend.

With Armagh’s suspensions lifted, there’s huge momentum behind the Orchard County ahead of Sunday’s clash.

Stefan Campbell, Aidan Nugent and Rian O’Neill are all available but Ciaran Mackin will miss out through injury.

Here’s the full starting team as picked on The Sideline Eye Podcast:

Watch the full podcast on YouTube

Ethan Rafferty

The big Grange man gets in ahead of Blaine Hughes and Shea Magill to claim the number one jersey. Rafferty has performed well between the sticks during the league and is now the teams first-choice goalkeeper.

Greg McCabe

Perhaps more used to the half back line, McCabe has got experience across all the defence positions. He could have to pick up Donegal dangerman Paddy McBrearty, depending on how Kieran McGeeney lines out his backline.

Aidan Forker

Armagh’s mister consistency. His battle with Michael Murphy on the edge of the square will be crucial. Forker is Kieran McGeeney’s most trusted man marker and he performed brilliantly against Murphy in 2020.

Aaron McKay

Could McKay be the man to go to McBrearty or should the Dromintee man picked up more of a freer role in defence. Armagh will shut down their defence with plenty of bodies and McKay’s strength in the tackle will be important for keeping the goals out.

Aaron McKay will claim a starting spot in the Armagh team
Photo Credit: John Merry

James Morgan

Morgan played some of the best football of his career in Crossmaglen’s half back line last year. He was named the 2021 club Player of the Year. He’s a man-marking option as well and could end up on McBrearty.

Connaire Mackin

The Shane O’Neill’s man has enjoyed an excellent 2022 so far and has regularly starred in the half back line. Mackin is a strong presence around the middle and is the most likely candidate to mark Michael Langan.

Jarly Og Burns

Burns was superb in the league and has excelled since reverting to the half back line. His strong running ability is a key asset for Armagh, and he is a constant attacking threat as well as a good option for kick outs.

Niall Grimley

With Ciaran Mackin suspended for the game, it looks like Niall Grimley will get one of the midfield jerseys’. While his role has been limited to an impact sub this year, the Madden man has enough experience to jump straight into the starting team.

Niall Grimley is expected to make the Armagh team
Photo Credit: John Merry

Ben Crealey

The Maghery man is a huge figure around the centre of the park and is a brilliant option from kick outs. He performed brilliantly against Brian Fenton at the start of the league and has made the number nine shirt his own.

Jemar Hall

One of the hardest workers in the team, Hall will cover every blade of grass in Ballybofey. The Forkhill attacker is likely to track Ryan McHugh as well, a hugely important job.

Rory Grugan

One of the first names on the team sheet, Grugan will be key to breaking down Donegal’s defensive structure. He was Armagh’s second highest scorer throughout the league and will be watched carefully by the Donegal backline.

Tiernan Kelly

The Clann Eireann man has upgraded from impact sub to guaranteed a spot on the starting team. Kelly netted against both Antrim and Monaghan after coming on last year and was brilliant throughout the league campaign.

Tiernan Kelly is now a first team starter for Armagh
Photo Credit: Richiespics

Aidan Nugent

Nugent was the top scorer in the recent league clash against Donegal, hitting 1-6. His work rate and firepower up front are crucial for the Armagh attack as he gets his place in the starting line up.

Rian O’Neill

It’s plain and simple, to win the game Armagh need Rian O’Neill. It looked like he wasn’t going to make it, but their talisman is available. O’Neill will receive plenty of attention, but the Crossmaglen star is the man for the big occasion.

Jason Duffy

Duffy has a real eye for goal as he displayed during the early round of the league. He netted against both Dublin and Tyrone and got on the scoresheet in six of Armagh’s seven league outings.