Coulter expected back for Down

Table-toppers Down host Kildare today in Division 1B of the National Football League, and the Northerners expect to welcome back ace attacker Benny Coulter for the clash.

Table-toppers Down host Kildare today in Division 1B of the National Football League, and the Northerners expect to welcome back ace attacker Benny Coulter for the clash.

Coulter has not been named on the starting fifteen but is expected to feature, while Martin Cole has recovered from a back injury. Also returning are Liam Doyle and Dan Gordon, who missed the victory over Limerick last time out due to injury.

Lilywhite boss Padraig Nolan can rely on the return from injury of several of his players today at Newry.

Paddy Mullarkey, Morgan O'Sullivan and Alan Barry appear to have returned to fitness, while Stuart McKenzie Smith is also on the mend, but won't appear today.

There is a western derby in store as Galway host Sligo, and the Tribesmen will be looking for a return to winning ways following their defeat to Armagh.

Sligo are hoping their injury list decreases as they need a full-strength side to trouble Galway.

Padraic Joyce could make his first appearance of the year for Galway today, after taking a winter break to recover from an injury which almost ruined his chances of captaining Ireland in last autumn's International Rules series.

Armagh, who took the Tribesmen's scalp so convincingly last time out, take on Laois today, but Mick O'Dwyer's Laois will be a tough test for the Ulster champions.

Laois, who accounted for Sligo last time out, have made two changes to their side.

Mark Dunne is named at left half-forward instead of Billy Sheehan, and Shane Cooke is named ahead of Chris Bergin at right corner-forward.

Armagh will be missing key players Brian Mallon and Paul McGrane after the two were injured in training.

There are six changes from the side that defeated Galway last time out, with the Crossmaglen contingent returning.

High-flying Wexford take on Limerick, who have struggled to make an impact in this year's League.

The Slaneysiders are without the services of Darragh Breen and Darren Foran due to injury.

Wing-back Breen is out with a shoulder injury, while attacker Foran failed a fitness test with a leg injury.

Robert Mageean comes into the side in place of Breen for his first appearance in this year's league and veteran star John Hegarty has been introduced to the attack.

DOWN (SF v Kildare): B McVeigh; M Cole, A Scullion, S Farrell; J Clarke, B Grant, A Brannigan; A Molloy, A Rogers; L Doyle, Shane Ward, C McCrickard; R Murtagh, D Gordon, D Hughes.

LAOIS (SF v Armagh): F Byron; P McDonald, C Begley, T McDonald; K Kelly, D Rooney, P McMahon; P Clancy, N Garvan; R Munnelly, C Conway, M Dunne; S Cooke, S Kelly, G Kavanagh.

ARMAGH (SF v Laois): C McKinney; A Mallon, J McNulty, P McCormack; A O'Rourke, K McGeeney, C McKeever; J Toal, M Mackin; M O'Rourke, J McEntee, G Loughran; S McDonnell, R Clarke, S Kernan.

WEXFORD (SF v Limerick): J Cooper; C Morris, P Wallace, N Murphy: R Mageean, D Murphy, S Cullen; D Kinsella, B Doyle; D Fogarty, P Colfer, J Hegarty; R Barry, J Hudson, M Forde.

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