Sunderland face Queen Park Rangers at the Stadium of Light tonight in what will be Harry Redknapp's first match in charge of the visitors.
Redknapp replaces former QPR boss Mark Hughes, who was sacked last week after a poor run of results left them at the bottom of the Premier League table.
Speaking ahead of this evening's match, Black Cats manager Martin O'Neill was full of praise for his opposite number Redknapp. He said: "Harry has proved himself over the years to be a very good manager, and I think his time at Tottenham was exceptional.
"I think a lot of people were tipping him to become the next England manager at that stage.
"He's got the opportunity now at another London club, and I'm sure he'll do brilliantly."
Redknapp, who returns to management for the first time since being sacked from Tottenham Hotspur in June, said: "It's a real challenge and one I'm looking forward to.
"We're optimistic and confident we can pull it off."
Sunderland could be without captain Lee Cattermole (knee) and defender John O'Shea (calf) for the game after both sustained injuries in the 4-2 defeat to West Brom on Saturday.
Stars from the world of football and cricket are heading to Northumberland today for a golf tournament. It's the second year in a row the event at Slaley Hall has taken place.
Tottenham Hotspur Manager Harry Redknapp, and former England cricketer Andrew Flintoff are both back hoping to lead their teams to victory. The Spurs boss is 1-0 up after last year's win.
Redknapp and Flintoff will be teaming up with senior golfers in a three hole challenge today, and on Wednesday the pair will be joined by famous faces from the world of football and cricket in the 'Bat & Ball Challenge'.