Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Redknapp First Up for Big Phil at the Bridge; Same Again Blues: Chelsea Captain John Terry Will Hope His Side Can Repeat Their 1-0 Home Triumph of Last Season against John Utaka (above) and His Portsmouth Team-Mates

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Redknapp First Up for Big Phil at the Bridge; Same Again Blues: Chelsea Captain John Terry Will Hope His Side Can Repeat Their 1-0 Home Triumph of Last Season against John Utaka (above) and His Portsmouth Team-Mates

Article excerpt

Byline: MICHAEL HART

HARRY REDKNAPP has never shirked a challenge.

So he will relish being the first Premier League manager to pit his witsagainst Luiz Felipe Scolari.

Next season's fixture list, released today, has given Redknapp's Portsmouth atrip to Stamford Bridge on 16 August, when Scolari will hope to get his Chelsearevolution off to a winning start.

Last month, Redknapp won his first trophy as a manager, guiding Portsmouth tothe FA Cup. At the Bridge, he will face one of the game's biggest names; a manwho managed Brazil to the 2002 World Cup and who could finish his Portugalreign with a European Championship title added to his CV.

Redknapp's side face champions Manchester United at Fratton Park the followingSaturday but he refused to be intimated by his club's daunting double-header.

He said: "It's not an ideal start for us, it's unbelievable really.

"But you've got to play the big teams some time. We just have to get on with itand see how we go." Jose Mourinho was in charge of Chelsea the last timePortsmouth went to Stamford Bridge and the home side won 1-0.

A repeat of that result would suit Scolari (right), who will be delighted tobegin his four-year contract at home, giving him the chance to establish animmediate rapport with the Chelsea faithful. It is ironic that the man he hasreplaced at Chelsea, Avram Grant, was previously the technical director atPortsmouth and remains a friend of Redknapp and the club.

The season is barely a month old before Chelsea face United at Stamford Bridgeon 20 September. They visit Old Trafford in January.

Arsenal kick off the season at home to newly-promoted West Brom. It is adaunting task for the Championship winners but defender Paul Robinson said:"It's a great start for us. However, it's going to be a difficult season for uscoming back up. …

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