Football League: Tyrone make six changes for Monaghan opener

Colm Cavanagh
Colm Cavanagh replaces Conal McCann in midfield in Mickey Harte's Tyrone side

The Tyrone side for Saturday's Football League Division One opener against Monaghan shows six changes from that which started the Dr McKenna Cup Final.

Ronan McNamee returns at full back in place of Justin McMahon, while Matthew Donnelly replaces Joe McMahon, who has opted to sit out the league campaign.

Colm Cavanagh comes into midfield for Conal McCann and PJ Lavery and Peter Hughes return to the half forward line.

Darren McCurry, top scorer from 2014, is the final change at corner forward.

Kyle Coney is understood to have quit the squad while Mark Donnelly and Plunkett Kane are among those who are believed to have been dropped.

New midfield discovery Padraig McNulty makes his Football League debut for the Red Hands, having had an outstanding McKenna Cup and winning the man-of-the-match award in the final.

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Tyrone made it four McKenna Cup titles in a row last weekend by beating Cavan 1-13 to 0-10 in the decider at the Athletic Grounds.

Saturday's match is a repeat of last summer's Ulster Championship semi-final, which the Farney men won.

Monaghan boss Malachy O'Rourke has yet to name his side for Saturday evening's match.

Derry's team for their encounter with Donegal on Saturday night includes league debutant John O'Kane, whose brother Gerard is also named in the starting line-up.

With Slaughtneil's Chrissy McKaigue unavailable because of the upcoming All-Ireland Club semi-final, Niall Holly is named at full-back with John O'Kane and Oisin Duffy also in the full-back line.

Conor McAtamney will partner Mark Lynch at midfield although the forward line has a more experienced look with Benny Heron, Enda Lynn, Sean Leo McGoldrick, Emmett McGuckin and Barry McGoldrick all included.

The substitutes include Eoin Bradley who will be in action for his Irish League club Glenavon on Saturday.

Donegal's team includes League debutant Ciaran McGinley but Rory Gallagher has named an experienced team which includes Mark McHugh.

Regulars Paul Durcan, Paddy McGrath, Eamonn McGee, Frank McGlynn, Ryan McHugh, Neil Gallagher, Christy Toye, Paddy McBrearty and Michael Murphy are also included.

Given the strengths of the respective line-ups, Donegal will be strongly fancied to overturn their opening Dr McKenna Cup defeat by Derry last month.

There have been heavy snowfalls in Donegal in recent days but as of now, the game remains on.

TEAMS

Tyrone: N Morgan, A McCrory, R McNamee, C McCarron, R McNabb, M Donnelly, B Tierney, C Cavanagh, P McNulty, PJ Lavery, R O'Neill, P Hughes, D McCurry, S Cavanagh (capt), N McKenna.

Derry: T Mallon; O Duffy, N Holly, J O'Kane; K Johnston, G O'Kane, M Craig; M Lynch, C McAtamney; B Heron, D Heavron, E Lynn; SL McGoldrick, E McGuckin, B McGoldrick. Subs: E McNicholl, B Og McGilligan, L McGoldrick, B Og McAlary, C Murphy, N McNicholl, C McFaul, T O'Brien, J Kearney, D McKinless, E Bradley.

Donegal: Paul Durcan; Paddy McGrath, Eamonn McGee, Frank McGlynn; Ryan McHugh, K Lacey, C McGinley; N Gallagher, C Toye; M McHugh, M McElhinney, O MacNiallais; P McBrearty, M Murphy, M O'Reilly. Subs: M Boyle, Declan Walsh, E Doherty, J Gibbons, C Gallagher, G McFadden, H McFadden, D McLaughlin, R Melly, E Doherty, D O'Connor

ALLIANZ FOOTBALL LEAGUE FIXTURES

SATURDAY - 19:00 GMT

Division 1

Tyrone v Monaghan, Healy Park

Donegal v Derry, Ballybofey

Division 3

Fermanagh v Louth, Brewster Park

Division 4

Waterford v Wicklow, Fraher Field

SUNDAY - 14:00

Division 1

Cork v Dublin, Pairc Ui Rinn

Kerry v Mayo, Killarney

Division 2

Galway v Meath, Pearse Stadium

Roscommon v Cavan, Kiltoom

Westmeath v Laois, Mullingar

Kildare v Down, Newbridge

Division 3

Clare v Wexford, Miltown Malbay

Limerick v Sligo, Kilmallock

Armagh v Tipperary, Athletic Grounds

Division 4

London v Offaly, Ruislip

Leitrim v Longford, Pairc Sean MacDiarmada

Antrim v Carlow, St Paul's

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