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Portsmouth manager hails Diarra as lucky charm

Pompey travel to Preston on Sunday with a very strong chance of making it to the quarter finals of the FA Cup. The Guardian report that Harry Redknapp might feel even more confident after discovering that recent signing Lassana Diarra has never been on the losing side in a cup competition since joining Chelsea from Le Havre in 2005.

Redknapp said: “I couldn’t believe it when someone told me. As soon as I did hear I knew there was no chance of dropping him. If he is that sort of lucky charm you have got to play him.

“I am not surprised, because Diarra is as good as any player I have ever worked with. He is as good as Frank Lampard, Joe Cole and Rio Ferdinand and has the potential to go on and achieve what they have.”

High praise indeed from the Portsmouth manager. The Frenchman has played in 23 Champions League, FA Cup and Carling Cup matches since arriving in England, winning 19 and drawing 4. Will he make it 24 tomorrow? The smart money says yes.

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