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Kerry v Tyrone – 3 football match-ups to savour this weekend

Conor Breslin highlights the most intriguing player v player battles that will take place between the Kingdom and the Red Hand this weekend

With the quarter-final matches in the All-Ireland series taking place this weekend, we look at the most noteworthy player battles that will draw fans in.

Tom O’Sullivan v Darren McCurry

In an era of brilliant inside defenders, O’Sullivan strangely enough might be one that has just gone under the radar.

So much so that it may be hard to believe that the Dingle man has two All-Stars to his name.

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Not since Marc Ó’Sé has there been such a powerhouse in the All-Ireland champions defence, charging up the field with the ball.

Some of his finishes have been noteworthy too, such as his point in last year’s All-Ireland final or his goal in Kerry’s 2019 championship win against Cork.

After all he was his side’s natural free taker at underage despite playing in the full-back line.

But his capabilities to shadow the best in the business cannot be ignored either.

His intelligence in man-marking Con O’Callaghan was key in Kerry coming away with a draw in the 2019 All-Ireland final – keeping the Dubliner scoreless from play.

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O’Callaghan ran the show in the replay but at that stage O’Sullivan was tagged with picking up Paul Mannion.

And now with the return of Darren McCurry following his exceptional performance against Donegal last week, we may be in for another cracker.

O’Sullivan showed his sticky side up against McCurry in the All-Ireland semi-final two years ago, not giving him an inch, although the Tyrone man hit two from play in the second half.

The Ulster forward nailed five points last week but was given untold space to run into with Donegal’s half-back line non-existent.

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If these holes are closed off, alongside Jason Foley marking Mattie Donnelly and perhaps Paul Murphy or Dylan Casey tagging Darragh Canavan, we can expect some heated affairs on the inside line.

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