Monaghan host Galway in round seven of the Allianz NFL knowing that a draw will be enough to book a place in the final, as well as a second consecutive promotion.
Monaghan’s only loss in the league was to Donegal, but a draw with Down, and wins over Meath, Louth, Armagh, and Laois have Malachy O’Rourke’s side on the cusp of promotion to Division One
Galway lost their first three games against Meath, Donegal and Laois, but wins over Down and Armagh, plus a draw with Louth, have lifted them out of the relegation zone.
Galway beat Monaghan in their last meeting two years ago, but left Clones empty-handed on their last visit in 2011.
Monaghan’s Under-21 players are again available after their Ulster semi-final defeat on Wednesday night, but Malachy O’Rourke has named the same team that defeated Laois. Conor McManus, Kieran Hughes and Jack McCarron have been in good form in attack for Monaghan, while Dessie Mone, Fintan Kelly and Colin Walshe are going well further back.
Galway will be going all-out for a result to secure their Division Two status, with Laois and Armagh just behind them. Despite the loss of Michael Meehan, Galway have dangerous forwards in Seán Armstrong, Paul Conroy and former Kildare All-Star James Kavanagh. They also have a double-All-Ireland Under-21-winning midfield duo of Thomas Flynn and Fiontán Ó Curraoin, while Finian Hanley and Gary O’Donnell anchor the defence, alongside the attack-minded Gareth Bradshaw.
Monaghan: Rory Beggan; Kieran Duffy, Drew Wylie, Fintan Kelly; Colin Walshe, Vincent Corey, Dessie Mone; Dick Clerkin, Gavin Doogan; Karl O’Connell, Jack McCarron, Pádraig Donaghy; Dermot Malone, Kieran Hughes, Conor McManus (Capt.).
Subs: Gerard McCaffrey, Conor Galligan, Ryan Wylie, Martin McElroy, Owen Lennon, Peter O’Hanlon, Paul Finlay, Shane Carey, Stephen Gollogly, Christopher McGuinness, Darren Hughes.