Battle of the birthday boys at St Mary's

6:10am Thursday 28th February 2013

It looks like many happy returns for one manager at St Mary’s on Saturday ... while the other could have the birthday blues.

Harry Redknapp’s first return to Saints since he left the club in the Championship, and a seemingly inevitable hot reception, doesn’t seem the happiest of ways for the former Pompey manager to celebrate his 66th birthday.

But, in an amazing twist, the man in the opposite technical area, current Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino, will also be blowing out the candles as he hits 41 on Saturday.

It’s a huge game for both sides as QPR drink in last chance saloon in terms of their chances of Premier League survival. Anything other than a win at St Mary’s will surely extinguish whatever hopes they have of avoiding relegation this season.

Saints sit in a far healthier position in the table but know they need to make the most of some good form by putting more wins on the board, and they barely get more winnable than a home game against a team win just two league victories all season.

There would be nerves still jangling around St Mary’s if Saints failed to collect the three points. If they do then they will be within touching distance of the superb achievement of securing a Premier League berth for next season, however.

Success for Pochettino and woe for Redknapp – it’s the birthday most Saints fans will be wishing on the managers.

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