August 22, 2014

Harry Redknapp will return to White Hart Lane for the first time since he was sacked by Tottenham Hotspur in 2012 when his Queens Park Rangers side come calling on Sunday in a London derby.

Redknapp was Tottenham's manager from October 2008 until he was relieved of his duties on June 13, 2012. He steered Spurs to the Champions League for the first time as the side reached the quarter-finals in 2010-11, but a combination of his failure to gain another trip to Europe's premier club competition and his public courting of the England national team job resulted in his dismissal.

Tottenham finished fourth in the Premier League in Redknapp's final season, but sixth-placed Chelsea pipped Spurs for a spot by winning the European Cup after the north London club had put together a dreadful run of results to lose third spot. His two top-four finishes were the only times that has happened in the Premier League era for Spurs, and the likes of Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Rafael van der Vaart and Ledley King made the Redknapp-era Spurs into one of the most enjoyable teams to watch in Europe.

Redknapp faced Tottenham for the first time since his dismissal in a scoreless draw at Loftus Road on Jan. 12, 2013.

'Arry could be eager to hand a Premier League debut to Eduardo Vargas, who was brought over on loan from Serie A side Napoli on Thursday - just one day after Rangers also brought in Norwich City midfielder Leroy Fer. Vargas will be reunited with his Chilean team-mate Mauricio Isla - also on loan from Serie A. Isla has received international clearance to make his QPR debut on Sunday.

"Mauricio and I are often speaking to each other on the telephone," Vargas said through an interpreter. "He said it's a great relaxed city to work in and a good bunch of players to work with."

QPR's return to the Premier League was spoiled in last Saturday's 1-0 home defeat to Hull City. Rangers held a 19-11 edge in overall shots, the most by any team on Matchday 1.

Charles Austin failed to convert a penalty in the 85th minute, but Austin and Loic Remy each had five total shots.

"If you look back at the stats on what we created, we should've taken the three points," admitted midfielder Jordon Mutch - another summer addition to the QPR squad.

Tottenham Hotspur will play a second straight London derby after winning 1-0 at West Ham United in their opener last Saturday, thanks to debutant Eric Dier's dramatic goal in stoppage time.

Both sides finished with 10 men, with Tottenham defender Kyle Naughton sent off for a handball in the area in the 29th minute to earn a suspension for this weekend's contest.

Spurs had the added distraction of a Europa League qualifier on Thursday as they went to Cyprus and came back from a goal down for a 2-1 win over Limassol. Roberto Soldado and Harry Kane scored six minutes apart in the second half, with both goals set up by Erik Lamela.

Boss Mauricio Pochettino used Lamela, Nacer Chadli and Moussa Dembele as second-half substitutes to help tilt the match in the favour of the visitors.

"All players played well, it's difficult for me to say one name," Pochettino told Tottenham's official website. "Lamela, Chadli and Moussa all made an impact and that's important. I'm very pleased for Harry and Roberto - strikers always want to score and they both scored. It was good to win the game."

Soldado and Kane started up top after Lamela and Emmanuel Adebayor did so against West Ham. Adebayor, Christian Eriksen, Danny Rose, Etienne Capoue and Aaron Lennon all sat out the trip to the Mediterranean.

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