Donegal manager Jim McGuinness looks set to start with the same XV for their third successive Allianz League Division Two clash - this time with Monaghan at O’Donnell Park on Sunday, throw-in 2pm.
McGuinness’s team currently sit top of the standings with maximum points following their 2-19 to 1-9 win over Laois in Portlaoise and then 1-16 to 0-12 success at Pearse Stadium in Salthill against Galway.
Christy Toye was named as a substitute for that first outing at O’Moore Park but was a late addition to the team as Darach O’Connor from Buncrana was unable to start with a tight hamstring. Toye came in to produce a man of the match performance and has maintained his place.
O’Connor, who scored 3-6 against Patrician College Carrickmacross in the McLarnon Cup for Coláistí Inis Eoghain last Sunday, is on the bench having missed out on a place in the panel to face Galway. He is joined among the substitutes by Eamon McGee, who missed the two fixtures to date through suspension having been sent off in last year’s All-Ireland quarter-final loss against Mayo.
“The boys are all in good form and really looking forward to the game,” McGuinness said. “It is in O’Donnell Park, a good tight pitch and a big crowd expected. The one thing for sure is that we will know where we are at on Sunday evening.”
Monaghan, who defeated Donegal 0-13 to 0-7 to win the Anglo-Celt Cup last July, have drawn with Down in Newry 0-14 to 1-11 and hammered Meath 0-20 to 0-6 thus far. Letterkenny Institute of Technology student Thomas Kerr, a newcomer to the senior panel this season, starts at right half-forward.
Donegal: Paul Durcan; Karl Lacey, Neil McGee, Ryan McHugh; Frank McGlynn, Anthony Thompson; Rory Kavanagh, Martin McElhinney; Mark McHugh, Christy Toye, Odhran MacNiallais; Colm McFadden, Michael Murphy, Dermot Molloy. Subs: Michael Boyle, Darach O’Connor, Declan Walsh, Eamon McGee, Gary McFadden, Hugh McFadden, Leon Thompson, Luke Keaney, Martin O’Reilly, Neil Gallagher, Patrick McBrearty.
Monaghan: Rory Beggan; Ryan Wylie, Drew Wylie, Fintan Kelly; Colin Walshe, Kieran Duffy, Conor Boyle; Gavin Doogan, Paul Finlay; Thomas Kerr, Chris McGuinness, Padraic Keenan; Dermot Malone, Jack McCarron, Conor McManus.