Armagh will be without Brendan Donaghy, Andy Mallon and Kieran Toner for Friday’s Ulster Championship clash against Monaghan after having their latest appeals against one-match bans rejected.
The three players were hit with the proposed suspensions following an investigation into the pre-match brawl that marred their Ulster SFC quarter-final against Cavan in the Athletic Grounds.
It further hampers Armagh manager Paul Grimley’s cause after Caolan Rafferty suffered an injury midweek.
While Grimley plans without some of his key players, Monaghan boss Malachy O’Rourke is still expecting a difficult encounter.
“Armagh have a lot of strength-in-depth, they have a lot of quality players and we know it will be a ferocious battle and if we’re not prepared for that, well there will only be one result,” he said.
Tyrone, Cavan and Down are also in action this weekend in the early stages of the qualifiers.
Shay McGuigan will become the fourth sibling to play Championship football for Tyrone when he makes his debut in tomorrow’s qualifier against Louth.
The half-forward from the Ardboe club follows in the footsteps of brothers Frank, Brian and Tommy.