Barry Dunnion will make his first start of the season for Donegal in Sunday's Ulster SFC quarter-final clash with Derry (Ballybofey, throw-in 4pm).
A groin injury has kept Dunnion out of action so far this year but Donegal manager Barry McIver has been able to call on the Four Masters clubman for the championship opener.
Dunnion, who impressed in recent challenge matches, returns at left half-back, alongside Frank McGlynn and Eamon McGee.
McIver has included two championship debutants in left corner back Paddy McDaid and left corner forward David Walsh.
Former All-Star Kevin Cassidy at midfield, Christy Toye in the half-forward line and free-taking full-forward Colm McFadden will all have vital roles to play for the Tir Chonaill men.
But Brendan Devenney, troubled by a recent groin injury, has falled in his bid to force his way into McIver's plans for the Derry game.
Devenney played for his club St. Eunan's last weekend and the injury did not trouble him, however McIver seems content with his current attacking options.
Donegal, who beat Derry by five points in their last championship encounter in 2006, are setting out in pursuit of their first Ulster title since winning their fifth Anglo-Celt Cup in 1992.
Since their Ulster and All-Ireland successes in 1992, Donegal have reached the Ulster final on five occasions (1993, 1998, 2002, 2004 and 2006) but they lost them all.
DONEGAL (SFC v Derry): P Durcan; K Lacey, N McGee, P McDaid; F McGlynn, E McGee, B Dunnion; K Cassidy (capt), N Gallagher; C Toye, M Hegarty, R Kavanagh; M Murphy, C McFadden, D Walsh.
Substitutes: M Boyle, N McCready, B Monaghan, P McConigley, S McGowan, D Walsh, K Rafferty, B Roper, K McMenamin, R Bradley, M Doherty, C Dunne, L McLoone, S Griffin, L Thompson.