Premier League Weekend Preview

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp claims only “idiots” will make him feel unwelcome at Portsmouth this weekend.

Redknapp will make his first return to Fratton Park since leaving Pompey last year as Spurs visit in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday.

The 62-year-old enjoyed considerable success in two spells with the south coast club, including winning the FA Cup in 2008, but Pompey have since been beset by turmoil and are currently bottom of the table.

Redknapp accepts some fans may try to give him a hostile reception but he is not concerned.

“People who have got any sense look at what I did for that football club,” he said.

“I took them from the bottom of the Championship to winning the Championship and becoming a top-seven, top-eight Premier League club, winning the FA Cup.

“If people are stupid enough to shout abuse they need their heads looking at in my opinion.

“I’m not bothered about the idiots. There are enough good people at the club who I know well and appreciate what I did there.

“Am I bothered about some nutter running up to me? No. I don’t need security, I can look after myself.”

The match will be Portsmouth’s first since their second takeover of the year, Saudi tycoon Ali Al Faraj having bought out Sulaiman Al Fahim – who was in charge for just 43 days – last week.

Pompey have lost seven of their eight games but recently appointed former Chelsea boss Avram Grant as director of football. Spurs are in fine shape, sitting third in the table five points behind leaders Chelsea.

Elsewhere, Birmingham’s new era begins with a trip to Arsenal.

Blues have also changed ownership recently with Hong Kong businessman Carson Yeung buying control from David Sullivan and David Gold.

The match is also the first between the clubs since an infamous encounter in February 2008 when Arsenal’s Eduardo broke his leg and Gunners captain William Gallas staged a strange sit-in after his side conceded a last-minute equaliser.

Eduardo could be a fitness doubt for the match after being troubled by a thigh injury during the recent international break.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, whose side are fifth after a 6-2 win over Blackburn, said: “We know our season will be decided at home.

“We have the ability to win anywhere, but how well we deal with opponents, like we did against Blackburn, will decide things.

“We need to keep our focus and approach each game with the same desire.”

Champions Manchester United will host Bolton in their first match since manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s controversial comments about the fitness of referee Alan Wiley.

Ferguson was angered by Wiley’s performance in his side’s 2-2 draw with Sunderland.

The corresponding Bolton fixture last season, won 2-0 by United, was overshadowed by refereeing controversy after the hosts were awarded a contentious penalty.

Chelsea travel to seventh-placed Aston Villa while Everton will have Marouane Fellaini available for their home clash with Wolves.

The Belgian has been at the centre of a storm this week after pulling out of an international to have a wisdom tooth removed.

The Belgian FA called on FIFA to invoke their five-day rule but the world governing body ruled Everton – having released the player as obliged and pointed out the issue was between player and international manager – had no case to answer.

Liverpool will hope to bounce back from their loss to Chelsea at Sunderland while Stoke take on West Ham.

Wiley is back in the middle when he takes charge of Sunday’s televised game between Wigan and Manchester City while fierce rivals Blackburn and Burnley meet in a top-flight derby for the first time since 1966 on the same day.

“It’s the first thing the supporters chant, so it has registered with the lads how big this game is,” said Burnley forward Robbie Blake.

“There will be no better start than Ewood Park to get your first three points away from home. It will be better than winning the play-off final, won’t it?”

Fulham and Hull meet on Monday.

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