Diego Simeone lines up Atletico Madrid debut for Matt Doherty as injuries and suspension put him in his plans

Matt Doherty at Atletico Madrid

Aidan Fitzmaurice

Matt Doherty is in line for his LaLiga debut this weekend as injuries and suspension have pushed him into the plans of Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone.

Having moved from Spurs on transfer deadline day on a short-term deal until the end of the season, Doherty has yet to play for the Spanish side as he has been an unused sub for four games, Atletico on an impressive run with two wins and two draws in that time.

He was unsure when he would be given his bow by Simeone as the defence has been in solid form, but a booking picked up by Argentina’s World Cup winner Nahuel Molina in last week’s 1-1 draw away to rivals Real Madrid means the full back is suspended for their next game.

And that opens the door for Doherty to start at right back for fourth-placed Atletico at home to Sevilla on Saturday, though he could also emerge as an option on the left side as Reinildo Mandava is out for the season while Sergio Reguilón, Doherty’s former team-mate at Spurs, picked up an injury in training this week and is a major doubt.

Atletico have three games scheduled before the international break in March, at home to Sevilla, away to Girona and at home to Valencia.

If Doherty does feature on Saturday, he will become the first Irish-born player to play in Spain’s top flight since Steve Finnan’s final game for Espanyol in November 2008.

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