Premier League: Manchester United vs. Portsmouth

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Bottom placed Portsmouth takes on Manchester United this afternoon (15:00 GMT) at Fratton Park with new boss Avram Grant hoping to start his new career in style.

This game is vital for both clubs as the Red Devils look to keep up the pressure at the top of the Premier League table while the Blues yearn to bail themselves out of the relegation zone.

Grant, who was a former Chelsea manager, is confident that Portsmouth can raise their game ahead of the Christmas run-in.

To beat the boys from Old Trafford would be a major achievement for the Israeli, who made sure not to upset Sir Alex Ferguson ahead of the match. He said: “Manchester United is a very good team with a great manager who is a very nice person.”

It won’t be a surprise if Pompey lose today since they have failed to score in their last three EPL meetings with United. However, this game will give great chance for the Avram to see if there will be a change in the attitude of his players after the change in management.

The Red Devils have considerable problems at the heart of their defense though, with Rio Ferdinand John O’Shea and Jonny Evans all unavailable because of injuries.

UPDATE: Wayne Rooney scored a hat-trick as United won 4-1 at Portsmouth to move within two points of leaders Chelsea at the top of the EPL.