Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira sends message to Spurs fans ahead of Crystal Palace clash

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Patrick Vieria takes his Crystal Palace side to Tottenham on Boxing Day

Patrick Vieria takes his Crystal Palace side to Tottenham on Boxing Day (Picture: Getty)

Patrick Vieira insists he would expect nothing less than a hostile reception when he takes his Crystal Palace side to Tottenham on Boxing Day.

The Arsenal legend is set to return to semi-familiar surroundings for the first time since 2004 when he scored in a famous 5-4 win over Spurs in what turned out to his final north London derby appearance at White Hart Lane.

Vieira returned to the Premier League in the summer after he was appointed as Roy Hodgson’s successor at Selhurts Park and has made a more than encouraging start to his tenure.

Patrick Vieira scored for Arsenal on his last north London derby at White Hart Lane

Patrick Vieira scored for Arsenal on his last north London derby at White Hart Lane (Picture: Getty)

The 45-year-old enjoyed his first win as the Eagles manager when his side thrashed Spurs, then managed by Nuno Espirito Santo, 3-0 back in September and his team now sits comfortably in mid-table.

Given his Arsenal links, Vieira is certain to take some stick on Saturday but he wouldn’t have it any other way, and said: ‘I’m expecting more than just a couple of boos.’

Palace will face a side almost uncrecognisable from the one they vanquished at the start of the season with Antoino Conte already showing signs that he is capable of transforming Tottenham’s fortunes.

‘He has this Italian passion of loving the game and he’s been successful everywhere he’s been,’ Vieira added. ‘It’ll be a pleasure to meet him.’

The respect between the two former Juventus players is clearly mutual, given Conte, in his own pre-match briefing, noted the impressive start Vieira has made with the south east London club.

He said: I’m not surprised because Patrick Vieira was a fantastic midfielder and usually when you are a midfielder you have more possibility to become a manager.

‘For the position you play during game you see both situations offensively and defensively.’


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