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03rd Jan 2020

Doherty hoping to take down United as Parrott becomes key man for Spurs

Niall McIntyre

Brought to you by Ladbrokes

Matt Doherty took down Manchester City, and now the Wolves full back has Manchester United in his sights.

For the Dubliner, it’s been some journey. Born in Swords and learning his trade with Swords Celtic, Home Farm and Belvedere, a talented Doherty earned a move to Bohemians as a 16-year-old in 2009.

Bohs knew they were onto a good one, the trouble was Doherty was just too good. The Phibsboro side played Wolves in a pre-season friendly in early 2010 and the right back starred. Having not yet played a senior game for Bohs, Wolves splashed out €75,000 to take him to Molineux and Doherty has been a key man since.

First in the championship, Doherty became an ever present but their promotion to the Premier League in 2018 represented his big break. Now, Nuno Espirito Santo’s side are flying high, 7th in the Premier League table and Doherty is one of their best players.

Just last week, he had the moment of his career. With Wolves primed for a famous draw against Man City, the 27-year-old ripped up the script with one of the best goals he’s ever scored.

Nicknames like the Irish Cafu followed, it felt like a watershed moment for Doherty. They’re talking big transfer fees now and Doherty will be hoping to keep up the momentum this weekend when the Wanderers host Man United in the FA Cup.

Wolves have unfinished business in this competition remember, having thrown away a two goal lead against Watford in the semi-final last year. Doherty scored that day, and few would put it past the in-form defender doing it again here.

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Wolves v Man Utd (Saturday, 5.30)

A loss to Watford in the last round of Premier League fixtures will have hit Wolves hard but they can bounce back here. Man United went off the boil against Arsenal and they might struggle if Wolves target this competition with as much vigour this time around.

Prediction: Wolves 2-1 Man United

Middlesbrough v Tottenham (Sunday, 2.00)

Harry Kane is sidelined for the next four to six weeks with a hamstring injury, and that opens the door for a young Irish man. Troy Parrott, the 17-year-old Dubliner made his Spurs’ Premier League debut last month against Burnley and he’s in line for an FA Cup run-out here.

Spurs have no other real recognised front man in their squad and this might be the time for Mourinho to entrust Parrott with some extra responsibility.

Mourinho’s side meanwhile, have struggled recently with a loss to Southampton and a draw with Norwich over the festive period, so they’ll be eager to get back to winning ways here.

Prediction: Middlesbrough 1-3 Tottenham

Liverpool v Everton

Everton have been bouncing since Carlo Ancelotti’s arrival but Liverpool are an unstoppable force. The Toffees haven’t beaten Liverpool since 2010 in a Merseyside derby but they’re tipped to give it a good rattle here. The draw is your best bet.

For an Irish eye, the sight of Seamus Coleman regaining his place in the team is a welcome one and his new position of left sided centre back in a back five is an interesting one.

Keep the eyes peeled.

Prediction: Liverpool 1-1 Everton

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