Cross have been there and done that and are the current county champions having reclaimed their throne last season.
For Madden, their hoping to end a 25-year wait for an appearance in the decider. They met the Rangers in the 1998 final and lost by 13-points.
The two sides last locked horns in championship in the opening round of the 2021 campaign, which the Rangers won 2-15 to 1-10.
Cross also held the upper hand when the teams clashed during the group stages of the 2018 championship. They earned a 2-16 to 2-15 victory.
Madden Match Ups
Madden’s match ups all over the field are going to be crucial in winning and losing this game. And they’ll need to get them right from the start.
Peter Lappin looks best suited for the challenge of Rian O’Neill, and the Madden captain is fit to follow O’Neill out the field if needs be.
Cian McConville carries perhaps the biggest scoring threat in the forward line. Ryan Morgan seems the best bet to mark him.
Donal Rafferty picked Rory Grugan up when Madden overcame Ballymacnab so that may see him line up beside Jamie Clarke.
Cross will have an eye on Niall Smith and Colin O’Connor looks like their most defence-minded forward. Unless Anthony Cunningham decides to push a defender right up on Smith.
That will leave Shea Vallely picking up Ronan Fitzpatrick and Tony O’Hagan facing off against Odhran Kieran.
The big question in the middle is, where will Niall Grimley line out? He spent long spells at full forward against Ballymacnab, but can Madden do without his presence around centerfield?
The truth is, he’ll probably drift in and out to ask serious questions of the Rangers. Mostly, Liam Grimley and Paddy Carr will line out in the middle.
Carr could be the man tasked with picking up Oisin O’Neill, and at times Rian, if the two O’Neill brothers interchange.
That’ll leave Grimley going toe-to-toe with arguably the best fielding midfielder in the county, Stephen Morris.
Should Niall Grimley go to the edge of the square, Rico Kelly will likely be detailed to pick him up and follow him wherever he goes.
Conor Grimley is the main scoring threat in the Madden offensive, both from open play and from dead ball.
Thomas Og Duffy, a Club All-Star defender last year, looks best placed to try and shut down his impact on the game.
The battle between Callum Cumiskey and Darragh McMullen could have a big say in how this game pans out.
McMullen likes to come deep and break at pace when Madden earn a turnover. But with that, they will be inviting Cumiskey to get up the pitch, something he’ll thrive on.
Joe Sheridan will move out to the wing forward position, and he usually ends up going toe-to-toe with Aaron Kernan.
Eoin Grimley was the man that picked up Ryan McShane when Madden met the Harps in the group stages. Maybe he’ll start on Kernan to limit his presence going forward.
That leaves Orin McKeown on Ciaran Rafferty while Chris Crowley will move out to the wing and go on either Grimley or Sheridan.