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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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Redknapp expects United defeat

Harry Redknapp is confident Manchester United will not finish the Premier League season unbeaten, and hopes it is Tottenham that inflict their first defeat when the two sides meet on Sunday.

• Rooney set for United return
• Van der Vaart committed to Spurs

Redknapp's side will welcome United to White Hart Lane in the knowledge that their opponents have not been beaten in any of their 20 league games to date. It has been suggested that Sir Alex Ferguson's side could yet match Arsenal's famous 'Invincibles' of 2003/04 and go the whole campaign without tasting defeat, but Redknapp is confident the competitiveness of the title race will ensure that does not happen.

"Alex Ferguson knows his wines, but this won't be a vintage season for Manchester United on the pitch," Redknapp wrote in his column for The Sun. "As good as they are I do not think they are good enough to go through the whole season unbeaten.

"No one's invincible this season in my opinion. Results already have shown that. United have done well to get past the halfway mark without losing a single match - but it's just a matter of time before they do."

Spurs enter the clash eight points behind the league leaders, having played a game more, but Redknapp still believes they are firmly in the title race. After suffering defeat when the two sides met in October at Old Trafford - with Portuguese winger Nani taking advantage of a mix-up between goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes and referee Mark Clattenburg to score the decisive goal - the Englishman hopes it is his side that benefit from some good fortune this time.

"There are only four points separating the top three teams at present - and don't rule us out as there are still many games to go," Redknapp said. "I think we're due a bit of luck against Man Utd having endured some unlucky results in the past couple of years against them, particularly up at Old Trafford.

"What happened with Nani's controversial goal against us is forgotten now. It has to be as you have to move on quickly in football or you'll get overtaken."

Spurs have had David Beckham training with the first-team squad this week, and while Redknapp admitted the media circus that has surrounded the 35-year-old's presence had caught him by surprise, he has been impressed with the LA Galaxy midfielder's down-to-earth attitude.

"David has shown he is happiest when out on a football pitch," Redknapp said. "There's been no problems with him. He has settled in with the lads and worked well.

"Behind closed doors you get the impression that he'd be just as excited to be down the park having a kickabout with his mates as being one of the most famous sportsmen in the world, mixing with politicians and dignitaries and superstars."

But Redknapp will not be asking Beckham, who spent more than a decade with United, for tips on beating his former side.

"I wouldn't dream of asking him if he knows any secrets about his old club that could help us," he said. "It wouldn't be right. The club has a place in his heart so it's not fair to put anyone in that position."

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