With Colm Cooper recovered from a hamstring injury, the selectors are prepared to omit Russell and promote his Laune Rangers team-mate Liam Hassett to the starting side.
Hassett made a big impression when introduced in the quarter-final victory over Dublin and starts at right half-forward, with Declan O’Sullivan moving from the 40 to left corner-forward. Dr Crokes’ Eoin Brosnan will start at centre-forward.
Kerry coach Jack O’Connor and his selectors have clearly opted for the tireless work of Hassett and Paul Galvin at wing-forwards to counter the attacking threat of Derry’s wing-backs.
Despite a promising debut against Dublin, Ballylongford’s Paddy Kelly has lost out at midfield to Austin Stacks’ William Kirby, who kicked two points when introduced in the quarter-final.
Derry, who are due to name their team tomorrow night, have injury worries over wing-back Francis McEldowney and full-forward Paddy Bradley.
McEldowney sustained a back injury in the quarter-final victory over Westmeath and although he played on to the end has been unable to train since. Bradley went into the quarter-final with a troublesome heel injury.
Midfielder Ronan McGarrity and right corner-forward Conor Mortimer have been given the all-clear to play for Mayo in their semi-final replay with Fermanagh at Croke Park. McGarrity damaged ribs in last Sunday’s drawn encounter but a visit to a specialist on Monday allayed such fears.
Mortimer, one of Mayo’s most prolific scorers, suffered an ankle injury during the course of the drawn game but has also been given the green light to play.
Fermanagh, who will name their team tomorrow night, report no injury problems.
Meanwhile, injuries to key players have forced Tipperary to make four changes for Sunday’s All-Ireland U-21 HC semi-final clash with Down at Portlaoise.
Out are wing-back David Kennedy, half-forwards Francis Devanney and Michael Farrell and full-forward Willie Ryan. They are replaced by Darragh Walton, Wayne Cully, Shane McGrath and Tommy Fitzgerald.
Walton is in at right half-back, Cully at midfield, with McGrath operating at right half-forward and Fitzgerald in the full-forward position.
Kilkenny are due to announce their team tonight but with a clean bill of health it is likely the side that defeated Wexford in the Leinster final will be retained en-bloc.
D. Murphy, T. O’Sullivan, M. McCarthy, A. O’Mahony; T. Ó Sé, E. Fitzmaurice, M. Ó Sé; D. Ó Sé, W. Kirby; L. Hassett, E. Brosnan, P. Galvin; C. Cooper, D. Ó Cinnéide, D. O’Sullivan.
K Cremin, MF Russell, P Kelly, J Crowley, J Sheehan, S O’Sullivan, B Guiney, D Quill, M Quirke, R O’Connor, N Kennelly, T Griffin, J Cronin, B Sheehan, R Ó’Flatharta. TIPPERARY (U21 HC v Down): P. McCormack; A. Morrissey, C. O’Mahony, H. Moloney; D. Walton, D. Fitzgerald, E. Hanley; J. Caesar, W. Cully; S. McGrath, S. Sweeney, P. Buckley; T. Scroppe, T. Fitzgerald, E. Sweeney.
P. Doolaghaer; D. Hayes, S. Kavanagh, D. Collins; E. Lynch, T. Regan, K. Hayes; C. Ryan, T. Tierney; G. Farragher, A. Garvey, J. Gantley; A. Callinan, D. Burke, N. Healy.