Belfast Telegraph

Redknapp ready for battle

Harry Redknapp has thrown down the gauntlet to opposite number Arsene Wenger in Tottenham's battle to beat Arsenal to third place in the Barclays Premier League, by roaring: "Bring it on, Arsene!"

Tottenham have now gone five league matches without a victory, but Saturday's performance in a goalless draw against Chelsea suggested that blip was about to end during a run-in that looks easier than that of their arch-rivals, who have Manchester City and Chelsea still to play.

Redknapp scoffed at suggestions that closing the three-point gap to the Gunners in third place may be beyond his side, saying: "No, it's not out of reach, of course not. I still think we'll finish above Arsenal - bring it on, Arsene!"

Wenger's Arsenal have never finished below Tottenham, who last ruled the roost in the capital in 1995. They looked certain to do so a month ago but their mini-slump began to cast doubt on whether they would even secure a top-four spot.

"The position we were in a month ago, we looked nailed on, didn't we?" Redknapp said.

"It would be a bigger blow if we don't make it, that's for sure. That would knock me for six."

It really is now theirs to lose, with Chelsea facing an even tougher run-in than Arsenal, as well as a nightmare schedule that includes a Champions League quarter-final.

Redknapp admitted it would suit Spurs for the Blues to reach the semi-finals, saying: "Of course - we want them to go through.

"I think they'll beat Benfica over two games, although I think it'll be a tough game away first leg, and then obviously Barcelona in the semi-final.

"We're all hoping for that because we all want to come here (Stamford Bridge) and watch it - I certainly do."


From Belfast Telegraph