Tyrone and Derry meet in an all-Ulster Division I clash at Healy Park on Saturday night – three weeks on from their last outings in the top tier.
In the last round of fixtures, Tyrone got their campaign back on track with an excellent 1-11 to 1-7 victory away to Mayo, but Derry suffered a second successive defeat to Kerry, and prop up the table as the only county yet to get a point on the board in the top tier.
The Tyrone side, unsurprisingly, is unchanged from the one that defeated Mayo, with Seán Cavanagh continuing at full-forward.
For Derry, McIver has made eight changes in a bid to halt his side’s slide in the top tier. Eoin McNicholl, Brian Óg McAlary, Brian Óg McGilligan, Daniel McKinless, Barry McGoldrick, Dermot McBride, Carlos McWilliams and Eoin Bradley have all come into the side.
Tyrone boss Mickey Harte wants his players to be on their guard.
He said: “It’s an Ulster derby, it’s a local derby, it’s all of these things that make for a very level playing field. So we know we must be on our guard. We must be better than we were against Mayo if we’re going to be sure of a victory and that’s a big challenge for us.”
There is another all-Ulster clash on Saturday with newly promoted Cavan meeting Down.
Cavan have made a strong start, forcing a deserved draw against Roscommon in the opening round before a very impressive win away to Laois three weeks ago at O’Moore Park.
Down, under the management of Jim McCorry this season, began their Division II campaign with a last gasp win over Kildare but were deservedly beaten at home by Roscommon iast time out.
McCorry is expected to make plenty of changes for the trip to Cavan. Arthur McConville and Jerome Johnston are both likely to start after impressing as substitutes against Roscommon.
Allianz FL Division 1: Tyrone v Derry
Allianz FL Division 2: Cavan v Down
Allianz FL Division 1: Donegal v Cork, Mayo v Monaghan
Allianz FL Division 3: Limerick v Armagh, Fermanagh v Tipperary
Allianz FL Division 4: Leitrim v Antrim