Armagh host Longford at the Athletic Grounds, this Saturday night at 7.00, in the Third Round of the Allianz National Football League, Division Two.
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Both sides have struggled in the first two rounds of this season’s competition, and a win at the weekend is crucial for both sides if they are to remain in with a chance of promotion.
The Orchard County are in something of a transitional period at the moment, having played their football in the top tier for a number of seasons, while Longford are improving under Glen Ryan, and won promotion in 2012.
Armagh were well beaten by Laois in the opening round but came back from the dead in their next game, to earn an unlikely draw with Wexford. Longford have lost both their outings to date, but narrow defeats to Wexford and Westmeath could have gone either way. This will be a difficult season for Ryan and his charges, but survival in the division the ultimate aim. A win on Saturday would go a long way towards achieving those ambitions, while defeat would pile the pressure on.
Crossmaglen duo Jamie Clarke and Aaron Kernan return to the Armagh team, and that will certainly boost their confidence going into this important tie. Injuries have ruled out Gavin McParland, Declan Carville, Anto Duffy and Paul McKeown. Longford have named an unchanged team to that which lost to Westmeath.
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The returning Jamie Clarke is a high class forward and he will need to be guarded closely by Longford defenders. Sean McCormack led the way for Longford in their last match and he is their most dangerous attacker.
Armagh should have too much craft and experience for the visitors, and despite being as short as 1/2 for this game, they are selected to take the points.