Both sides go into the game in Elverys MacHale Park having lost their opening two games, with Fitzmaurice well aware victory would ease relegation worries somewhat.
“It’s a game that both sides need points and both sides are going to be desperate to win. Whichever team gets a win on Sunday, all bets are off, and in terms of the league is still very much a live option, whereas if you lose, you are putting yourself under pressure.
“These are the fellows going well in training That is always the yardstick we use to measure who is ready to start. We have had a couple of weeks of training now, and we are able to gauge where the form lines are at. There are a couple of lads on the bench going well and are probably unlucky to miss out.”
Fitzmaurice makes five changes from the side which lost to Derry. Brendan Kealy replaces Brian Kelly in goal with Aidan O’Mahony and Marc Ó Sé starting in defence as Brian McGuire and Jack Sherwood drop to the bench.
Daithí Casey starts at centre-forward and also captains the side, replacing the injured Jonathan Lyne, with Paul Geaney playing instead of Conor Cox in the full-forward line.
There are three changes for Mayo. Brendan Harrison at right corner-back and attacking duo Alan Freeman and Michael Conroy are the new men, in place of David Drake, Cathal Carolan and Diarmuid O’Connor.
Kildare, who take on Tyrone, have made two changes after the loss to Cork. With Emmet Bolton sidelined through a knee injury, his place in defence is taken by Hugh McGrillen. McGrillen comes in at corner-back, with Kevin Murnaghan moving to the wing. The rotation of goalkeepers also continues as Shane Connolly comes in for Mark Donnellan.
Following the win against Kerry, there are four alterations to the Derry side for their game against Westmeath. Mark Craig, Ciarán McFaul, Benny Heron and Caolán O’Boyle are all added to the side, out go Declan Brown, Aidan McAlynn and Patsy Bradley, and Niall Holly.
ARMAGH (NFL v Meath): P McEvoy (Dromitee); P Hughes (Crossmaglen), A Mallon (Parnells, Dublin), M Murray (St Patrick’s); M Shields (Whitecross), C Vernon (Armagh Harps), F O’Neill (St Paul’s); A Findlon (St Peter’s), S Harold (Carrickcruppen); T Kernan (Crossmaglen), K Dyas (Dromitee), C Rafferty (Granemore); J Clarke (Crossmaglen), S Campbell (Clan na Gael), O Mac Íomhair (Annaghmore).
Subs: P Rodgers (Lissummon), J Hanratty (Crossmaglen), S Forker (Maghery), E McVerry (Mullaghbawn), R Grugan (Ballymacnab), B Mallon (Tír na nÓg), N McConville (St Peter’s), K O’Rourke (Mayobridge), C Rafferty (Madden), K Carragher (Crossmaglen), R Tasker (St Patrick’s).
DERRY (NFL v Westmeath): T Mallon (Loup); M Craig (Dungiven), C McKaigue (Slaughtneil), D McBride (Ballinscreen); K Johnston (Dungiven), G O’Kane (Glenullin), SL McGoldrick (Eoghan Rua); F Doherty (Bellaghy), M Lynch (Banagher); C McFaul (Glen), J Kielt (Kilrea), E Lynn (Greenlough); B Heron (Ballinascreen), E McGuckin (Magherafelt), C O’Boyle (Lavey). Subs: E McNichol (Glenullin), O Duffy (Foreglen), A McAlynn (Loup), D Brown (Bellaghy), C Kielt (Kilrea), C McWilliams (Ballinscreen), C McAtmaney (Swatragh), P Bradley (Slaughtneil), N Holly (Eoghan Rua), A Kerrigan (Claudy), A O’Neill (Loup).
DERRY (NHL v London): D McDermott (Banagher); M Warnock (Swatragh), S McCullagh (Banagher), A Rafferty (Eoghan Ryan); R McCloskey (Banagher), L Hinphey (Kevin Lynch’s), K Hinphey (Kevin Lynch’s); O McCloskey (Banagher), S McCloskey (Banagher); B Rogers (Slaughtneil), P McCloskey (Kevin Lynch’s), A Grant (Na Magha); D O’Neill (Lavey), R Convery (Swatragh), A Kelly (Ballinascreen).
KERRY (NFL v Mayo): B Kealy (Kilcummin); P Murphy (Rathmore), M Griffin (St Michael’s/Foilmore), S Enright (Tarbert); P Crowley (Laune Rangers), A O’Mahony (Rathmore), M Ó Sé (An Ghaeltacht); A Maher (Duagh), D Moran (Kerins O’Rahillys); S O’Brien (Kenmare), D Casey (Dr Crokes), D Walsh (Cromane); BJ Keane (Kerins O’Rahillys), P Geaney (Dingle), J O’Donoghue (Legion). Subs: B Kelly (Legion), C Cox (Listowel Emmets), B McGuire (Listowel Emmets), J Sherwood (Firies), M Geaney (Dingle), J Buckley (Dr Crokes), F Fitzgerald (Dr Crokes), P Kilkenny (Glenbeigh/Glencar), D Culhane (Ballylongford), A Fitzgerald (Castlegregory), Darran O’Sullivan (Glenbeigh/Glencar).
KILDARE (NFL v Tyrone): S Connolly (St Laurence’s); M O’Grady (Celbridge), M Foley (Athy), H McGrillen (Celbridge); K Murnaghan (Moorefield), F Conway (Celbridge), P Cribbin (Johnstownbridge); T Moolick (Leixlip), G White (Sarsfields); C McNally (Johnstownbridge), E O’Flaherty (Carbury), S Hurley (Johnstownbridge); P Brophy (Celbridge), T O’Connor (Clane), D Mulhall (Athy).
MAYO (NFL v Kerry): R Hennelly (Breaffy); B Harrison (Aghamore), G Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites), K Keane (Westport); L Keegan (Westport), S McHale (Knockmore), C Boyle (Davitts); A O’Shea (Breaffy), J Gibbons (Ballintubber); K McLoughlin (Knockmore), A Moran (Ballaghaderreen), K Higgins (Ballyhaunis); A Gallagher (Mayo Gaels), A Freeman (Aghamore), M Conroy (Davitts).