PORTSMOUTH, Nov 27 – Avram Grant begins his Portsmouth managerial career in the dug-out opposite Sir Alex Ferguson on Saturday, 18 months after ending his Chelsea reign with defeat to Manchester United in the Champions League final.Grant led Chelsea to within touching distance of lifting the European Cup for the first time in their history before John Terry’s missed penalty condemned the Israeli to a heartbreaking shootout defeat in Moscow.
By a quirk of fate Grant has the opportunity to gain his revenge when the Premier League champions travel to Fratton Park after agreeing to succeed the sacked Paul Hart as Portsmouth manager.
Portsmouth striker Kanu is backing Grant to mastermind a famous victory.
The Nigerian international said: "It does not matter who we play if we believe we can win, we can.
"We have got good players who are experienced and know what it takes to dig ourselves out of trouble.
"We have to keep positive and keep working hard. We can see we are improving in every aspect of the game, which is good.
"We are going to give Manchester United a good game and who knows, maybe we can come out with three points."
While Grant has been given the unenviable task of leading Portsmouth from the bottom of the table to Premier League survival, United counterpart Ferguson knows his side cannot afford to fall any further behind Chelsea in their pursuit of a fourth successive league title.
United captain Gary Neville expects a positive response from his team after their proud 23-match unbeaten Champions League run was ended by Wednesday’s 1-0 Old Trafford defeat to Besiktas.
Neville, set to play his first Premier League match since completing a three-match suspension, said: "I have been fit throughout the period I have been banned do it has been frustrating.
"I was disappointed with Wednesday because we did not convert our chances and did not create enough in the last third.
"I wanted to come back into a winning team but we have to move on. We have a tough game at Portsmouth on Saturday so we have to pick ourselves up and get a win there."
Ferguson is expected to make as many as eight changes to the youthful side that lost to Besiktas.
Edwin van der Sar, Patrice Evra, Ryan Giggs, Darren Fletcher, Michael Carrick, Antonio Valencia, Paul Scholes and Wayne Rooney are all set to return.
United’s manager, whose side have lost on three of their last six visits to Fratton Park, said: "Wednesday was a good experience for the younger players but of course we have people to come back in against Portsmouth.
"Fratton Park has been a difficult place for us to go down the years so we know we are in for a hard game regardless of their league position.
"We had a good win against Everton last weekend and we want to keep that run going. Traditionally this is the time of the season when we come on strongly."