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General Category => Archive => Daily Fulham Stuff => Topic started by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 07:43:26 AM

Title: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 07:43:26 AM
http://www.itv.com/sport/football/news/uefacup/previews/fulham-v-juventus-133209422.html (http://www.itv.com/sport/football/news/uefacup/previews/fulham-v-juventus-133209422.html)
Fulham v Juventus
Published: Wednesday, 17 March 2010, 7:52PM
Del Piero eyeing South Africa

Alessandro Del Piero is hoping to improve his chances of making Italy's World Cup squad by firing Juventus into the last eight of the Europa League.

The Bianconeri go into the match against Barclays Premier League side Fulham with a 3-1 lead from the first leg in Turin.

Del Piero was absent from that match but is expected to face the Cottagers after scoring twice in Juve's 3-3 draw with Siena on Sunday.

The Juventus striker has not featured for the Azzurri since Euro 2008 and Italy manager Marcello Lippi has not given any indication he will take the striker to South Africa, where Italy will be among the favourites to win the tournament.

That has not put Del Piero off though, and he is keen to send Lippi a message by sealing Fulham's fate at Craven Cottage.

"I'm still very hopeful of making the squad," said the 35-year-old. "I know that Lippi has not chosen the squad yet so there are still chances for me.

"I'm really hopeful about it and I believe that a match like this gives me a good chance of trying to achieve that."

Juve lost ground in their hunt for a Champions League place by throwing away a 3-0 lead to draw 3-3 with Serie A's bottom side Siena on Sunday.

Del Piero has warned his team-mates that they cannot afford a similar lapse in concentration.

"We analysed that match the day after with the coach and he made several points that we have to work on," said Del Piero.

"There are lots of areas we can improve and the message was clear: we have to learn and take full concentration regardless of results, whether we are losing or not, so we don't have these kinds of results in the future."

Giorgio Chiellini, Martin Caceres, Claudio Marchisio, Amauri and Michele Paolucci are all injured for the match while the man who scored Juve's opener last week - Nicola Legrottaglie - is suspended.

Zaccheroni will have to choose between goalkeepers Antonio Chimenti and Carlo Pinsoglio as he is also without Gianluigi Buffon and Alex Manninger.

Fulham striker Bobby Zamora will come up against World Cup winner Fabio Cannavaro at Craven Cottage.

Zamora was one of the few players to come away from the first leg with any credit and he is hopeful of getting the better of the 36-year-old, who has won 132 caps for his country.

"I thought I did well in the first leg against him to be honest," said Zamora.

"I held it up well and one thing I noticed is that he didn't like to be run down the channels.

"He's getting a bit older now; he wants to fight, pull and push you, so I'm sure I'll try to turn and push him the other way."
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 07:44:52 AM
http://www.eatsleepsport.com/fulham/cottagers-ace-talks-up-exit-1045203.html (http://www.eatsleepsport.com/fulham/cottagers-ace-talks-up-exit-1045203.html)
Cottagers ace talks up exit
Diomansy Kamara says he wants to make his loan move to Celtic a permanent deal after being "impressed" by the SPL club.

The Senegal international joined the Glasgow giants during January's transfer window and injury has limited the amount of time he has spent on the pitch north of the border.

Kamara has made six appearances and scored two goals and is due to stay at Parkhead until the end of the season, with the forward hoping that may be extended.

Despite the exit of Kamara's former boss Tony Mowbray from Celtic, it appears the 29-year-old is not keen on the prospect of a return to Craven Cottage.

Kamara stated: "Leaving Celtic is not in my plan. This is a massive club that I have a lot of respect for.

"I hope to stay at Celtic as I have been so impressed by this club and I think we can do some good things in the future and I would like to be part of it."
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 07:46:25 AM
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11681_6066530,00.html (http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11681_6066530,00.html)
Fulham look at defender
Craven Cottage chance for Stewart

Fulham have handed a trial to Histon defender Callum Stewart after he caught the eye of club scouts.

Stewart has been invited to Craven Cottage for three days of training after catching the eye of Fulham's head of recruitment Malcolm Elias.

Fulham will cast an eye over the 19-year-old, but Histon boss Alan Lewer is not reading too much into the trial offer

"Callum has gone down there for three days' training," Lewer told the Cambridge News.

"Malcolm's seen him play a couple of times and has been asking me about him.

"He's gone there to train with their Under-19s and to see if he can cope with that, and Fulham will see if they like him.

"Callum was at Ipswich before he joined us and he enjoys the full-time training, but I wouldn't read too much into it."

Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 07:47:34 AM
http://hammyend.com/?p=6682 (http://hammyend.com/?p=6682)
Time to stand up
by lydia on March 31, 2010

Just less than two weeks ago Fulham Fc were pulled out of the Europa League hat. Heart rates began to raise with both excitment and nervousness, and I’m just talking about the fans! This small event in the eyes of many, was a massive event for everybody invloved at Fulham Football Club. Some bigger clubs take this sort of event  as merely routine while other clubs see it as something that is just out of reach. And do you blame them? Did we ever expect this especially with the season that we had previously had? Going from near relegation to storming through the Europa League is outstanding, it simply can’t be said enough. When we first qualified for Europe, many wondered how far could we really expect to go? Second season fever was threatening to hit and many outside the Fulham family thought that Fulham would struggle this year. A friend of mine told me that Fulham would be in a relegation dogfight at the end of the season. At the end of the day I couldn’t bring myself to be offended by his claim. I definitely did not think that Fulham would go down but I struggled to see how Fulham could possibly balance their heavy fixture list with a tiny squad.

Realistically, did anyone think that we would get this far? I know I didn’t. I thought that we could perhaps get through the group stages but anything after that was a bonus. However, Roy Hodgson team decided that they were not going to take the doubters too seriously and produced some  awesome displays that regularly had the Cottage singing louder than ever. My view on Fulham’s chances in Europe began to become more optimistic as time went on because not only were we playing well in Europe, but our league form was excellent! Zamora’s wonder strike against Shakhtar had me completely turned and it was then that I believed that  this was to be a very special season in Fulham’s history. Now that we have knocked out both the holders and one of the favourites, our thoughts will turn to anticipating tomorrow night.

Hodgson has made no secret of what he is prioritising and, even though our league form may suffer slightly, if we progress any further in this competition, it will be well worth it. Wolfsburg are a good team but one that is rather like Fulham in that they sometimes punch above their weight. They have experienced a disappointing season when you consider last year. This will frustrate them so hopefully their frustration makes them careless.

Just ten days ago they were torn apart by bottom club Hertha Berlin at home. This shows us that they can be inconsistant and they seem to leak goals a lot. If Zamora is on form tomorrow night, which I have no doubt that he will be, he should enjoy his evening. History has already been written at the Cottage this season but why should the writer stop there? It’s time for everyone involved at Fulham to stand up and make their mark in Europe!

Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 07:49:01 AM
http://www.teamtalk.com/fulham/6066564/Zamora-concern-for-Cottagers (http://www.teamtalk.com/fulham/6066564/Zamora-concern-for-Cottagers)
Zamora concern for Cottagers
Fulham striker Bobby Zamora hopes to be fit for the Europa League quarter-final first-leg clash with Wolfsburg despite suffering from a cold.

The forward was sent home from training on Wednesday but Roy Hodgson is nevertheless hopeful the 29-year-old will be fit to face the German champions at Craven Cottage.

Dickson Etuhu, Damien Duff, Aaron Hughes and Danny Murphy should return to the starting line-up after they were rested, along with Zamora, for the defeat by Hull at the weekend.

Skipper Murphy missed both legs of the epic win over Juventus in the previous round through suspension.

Cottagers (from): Schwarzer, Konchesky, Baird, Riise, Hughes, Smalling, Etuhu, Duff, Murphy, Gera, Davies, Zamora, Dempsey, Zuberbuhler, Greening, Kelly, Hangeland, Stoor, Nevland.
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 07:50:21 AM
http://www.teamtalk.com/west-ham-united/6066630/Hodgson-defends-team-selection (http://www.teamtalk.com/west-ham-united/6066630/Hodgson-defends-team-selection)
Hodgson defends team selection
Fulham boss Roy Hodgson insists he would have "no case to answer" were West Ham to cry foul about his team selection against Hull last weekend.

Hodgson, mindful of his side's upcoming Europa League quarter-final against German champions Wolfsburg on Thursday night, rested Bobby Zamora, Danny Murphy, Aaron Hughes, Dickson Etuhu and Damien Duff at the KC Stadium.

West Ham are reported to be considering making a complaint after Hull's 2-0 win moved them to within goal difference of the struggling Hammers - although no confirmation has come from the east London club.

But Hodgson said: "We have no case to answer, I am perfectly happy with the team selection."

Zamora will be assessed ahead of kick-off at Craven Cottage after missing training on Wednesday with a cold but he, Murphy, Hughes, Etuhu and Duff are all expected to return to the starting line-up.
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 07:51:29 AM
http://www.birminghammail.net/birmingham-sport/premier-league-football-news/2010/03/31/fulham-blow-ahead-of-europa-league-clash-97319-26148764/ (http://www.birminghammail.net/birmingham-sport/premier-league-football-news/2010/03/31/fulham-blow-ahead-of-europa-league-clash-97319-26148764/)
Fulham blow ahead of Europa League clash
Fulham striker Bobby Zamora was sent home from training with a cold this morning ahead of tomorrow's Europa League quarter-final first-leg clash with Wolfsburg.

Manager Roy Hodgson is nevertheless hopeful the 29-year-old will be fit to face the German champions at Craven Cottage.

Dickson Etuhu, Damien Duff, Aaron Hughes and Danny Murphy should return to the starting line-up after they were rested, along with Zamora, for the defeat by Hull at the weekend.

Skipper Murphy missed both legs of the epic win over Juventus in the previous round through suspension.

Provisional squad: Schwarzer, Konchesky, Baird, Riise, Hughes, Smalling, Etuhu, Duff, Murphy, Gera, Davies, Zamora, Dempsey, Zuberbuhler, Greening, Kelly, Hangeland, Stoor, Nevland.
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 07:53:50 AM
http://www.cottagersconfidential.com/2010/3/31/1398389/my-5-keys-to-victory-for-fulham (http://www.cottagersconfidential.com/2010/3/31/1398389/my-5-keys-to-victory-for-fulham)
My 5 Keys to Victory for Fulham against Wolfsburg - Match preview
by Fulhampatsfan on Mar 31, 2010 3:29 PM BST  0 comments

(http://cdn0.sbnation.com/entry_photo_images/329967/edin_dzeko_large.jpg)

Fulham play tomorrow against Wolfsburg at Craven Cottage. This is the first leg of the quarterfinals in the Europa League. The game takes place at 8PM UK Time and 3PM EST.  The game will be shown in the U.S. on Direc TV only. The second leg will be played April 8th at Wolfsburg.

Wolfsburg won the Bundesliga title last year. This year they currently sit ninth in there league. This team can score goals, but can give them up as well. Edin Dzeko, their leading scorer is injured and is doubtful for the match. Regardless if he plays or not this team has other weapons.They should prove to be a challenge to Roy Hogdson and Fulham. Below are " My 5 Keys to Victory for Fulham against Wolfsburg".

1. Fuham need to minimize the away goals and keep a clean sheet if possible.  This key is more about the big picture and the 2 legs. If Mark Schwarzer can get a clean sheet against Wolfsburg and Fulham score at least one goal, I think that sets the team up in decent shape for the second leg. This is not going to be easy.

2.  Whether Edin Dzeko plays or not the Wolfsburg strikers need to be contained. Dzeko has scored 16 goals in his league this year. Grafite has scored 9 goals so far this year in the Bundesliga. Obafemi Martins formerly of NewCastle United has scored 6 goals this year in the Bundesliga. They have a good amount of goal scoring capability. At home it is vital for the defense to shut down the Wolfsburg strikers.

3.  What position will Chris Baird play tomorrow? Chris Baird played well in central midfield against Juventus at Craven Cottage. He could also play at right back if needed. If he plays at CM that means that Dickson Etuhu would be on the bench. Dickson Etuhu has struggled at times especially with his passing. For me I would like Baird at the CM position. I think it makes Fulham more dangerous. I think Stephen Kelly at right back can do the job. He has been inconsistent, but at times has played well. Where Baird ends up playing I think is a key for the match.

4. Fulham need to control the midfield and limit Wolfsburg's Zvjezdan Misimovic. According to 101greatgoals.com, Misimovic set a new record for assists last season in the Bundesliga. He ended up with 18 assists. If Fulham cannot contain this player, they could be in trouble. This year alone he has scored 8 goals and has 9 assists in the Bundesliga. Danny Murphy in many ways controls the midfield for Fulham. He will be a huge key in this match with his passing. If he can get the ball up to the strikers, Fulham could have several scoring opportunities.

5. Fulham need to take advantge of an average Wolfsburg defense. I mentioned in the beginning of this entry that Wolfsburg score many goals. They also give up a great deal of goals. According to 101greatgoals.com, this year they have given up 51 goals in the Bundesliga. There is only one other team in the Bundesliga that has given up more and that is Hannover, according to 101greatgoals.com. I think it is imperative that Bobby Zamora and Zoltan Gera take advantage of this defense. If Fulham can score multiple goals tomorrow that would really help going back to Germany for the second leg. 

Tomorrow will be another challenge for Fulham to overcome. I am hoping they take advantage of this great opportunity they have tomorrow at Craven Cottage.
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 07:55:18 AM
http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/March/HodgsonWolfsburgPreview.aspx (http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/March/HodgsonWolfsburgPreview.aspx)
European Obstacle
Wednesday 31st March 2010

(http://www.fulhamfc.com/Images/MainNews/NewsPages/Management/hodgson/training1.jpg)


Fulham will be hoping Bobby Zamora returns to full fitness on Thursday morning to lead the line against Wolfsburg in the Quarter Final of the UEFA Europa League, as Roy Hodgson explained during Wednesday afternoon's pre-match press conference.

“He [Zamora] came in today [Wednesday] with a cold so we decided not to take any chances with this beautiful Spring weather we’re having at the moment! Rather than send him out into the Arctic conditions we sent him home in the hope that he will be fit on Thursday.

“Our Sports Medicine and Exercise Science Department are very confident that this precaution was a sensible one. I would be very surprised if he [Zamora] doesn’t make it but the risk exists because he didn’t train today.

“He’s in our starting eleven. We’re trying to play what we think is our best Team on Thursday and it would be a great disappointment to me, the Club and the fans if he’s not able to play.”

Fulham will have to overcome last season’s Bundesliga champions to reach the Semi-Finals of the UEFA Europa League, and whilst Hodgson is clearly proud of his Team’s achievements in Europe this season, he admits it will take another very special effort to reach the final four.

“What we feel really is a sense of achievement and a sense of pride, having overcome so many obstacles to come this far,” said Hodgson. "Knowing that having overcome those obstacles, that were in the shape of very good football teams, we’ve earned the right to believe in ourselves and to believe that if luck continues to favour us we can go even further.

“We’re also fully conscious of the fact, just as when we played Basel, Roma, CSKA Sofia, let alone Shakhtar Donetsk and Juventus, that the teams we’re playing against are more than capable of beating us.

“It’s going to require another fantastic effort on the part of the players if we’re going to continue this adventure at the expense of a team of Wolfsburg’s quality. Wolfsburg were in the Champions League and they won the Bundesliga last year.

“What I’ve learned about Wolfsburg I’ve learnt since being drawn against them and we’ve obviously studied them as much as we can in terms of sending people to the matches and receiving the videos.

“They’re a good team and they score a lot of goals. They’ve got very good attacking players and they’re a very well organised team. In the league they haven’t had such a good season up until now, but they’ve made big strides up the table in recent weeks.

“To get where they are they’ve shown what a good team they are and we know the task ahead of us is a tough one. To be perfectly honest at this level, with only eight teams left in the competition, every one of the seven teams we could have played are a good team.

“They’re [Wolfsburg] a team that has an awful lot of good players in all areas. Like most German teams they’re athletic and technical.”

UEFA Europa League Tickets: Last Few Remaining!
There are a limited number of tickets left available for Thursday night's UEFA Europa League Quarter-Final (first leg) at the Cottage. Don't miss Fulham's clash with Wolfsburg by booking your tickets now!

Supporters can purchase their match tickets by calling 0870 442 1234 (option 1) or in person by visiting the Ticket Office at Craven Cottage (cash only), which will be open from 9am to 8.50pm on Thursday.



Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/March/HodgsonWolfsburgPreview.aspx#ixzz0jpT4d0gP (http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/March/HodgsonWolfsburgPreview.aspx#ixzz0jpT4d0gP)
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 07:58:31 AM
http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/March/DaviesWolfsburgPreview.aspx (http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/March/DaviesWolfsburgPreview.aspx)
Play It Again
Wednesday 31st March 2010

(http://www.fulhamfc.com/Images/MainNews/NewsPages/Players/davies/EuropaGeneral2.jpg)


Fulham's European adventure continues at the Cottage on Thursday night and Simon Davies revealed on Wednesday that after two stunning results against Shakhtar Donetsk and Juventus, the Whites are ready to test their mettle against last season's Bundesliga champions.

“We’re more than looking forward to the game on Thursday,” Davies explained. “You can sense the excitement in the squad building up to these games. This is all new for us and everyone’s enjoying it. It makes all the hard work getting there worthwhile.

“The Shakhtar game was a massive game for us, they’re such a big club, and once we got past them we knew we wouldn’t play a team much better than them along the way.

“It gave us more belief and even being 3-1 down to Juventus after the first leg, we still felt like we had a really good chance at the Cottage. We proved that. Conceding the first goal early on was a real kick in the stomach for us but we produced a great performance to get through."

Davies is hoping to make the most of home advantage against Wolfsburg and publicly thanked the fans for their continued support as the Whites bid to make further history on Thursday night.

“We know it’s going to be a tough game and we’ll treat them with all the respect they deserve but being at home it’s up to us on Thursday to take the game to them and hopefully take a lead into the second leg.

“We’ve watched a lot of videos of them this week and we know they’re a quality team. I watched them earlier on in the Champions League so I know they’re a good team that are very offensive and score a lot of goals.

The fans have been great to us, especially that night against Juventus. After going a goal down they were cheering for us straight away and helped get us back on the front foot.

“It was great to send them home happy and hopefully we’ll have a few more nights like that. Hopefully we can continue that way and see how far it takes us.”

One player Fulham will be desperately hoping is fit for Thursday night's game is Bobby Zamora and Davies underlined his own respect for the striker on Wednesday, who now boasts an impressive goal tally alongside a unique all-round game. 

“He was the same for me last year – he was great at showing for the ball, holding the ball up and bringing players into play. We really appreciated what he was doing for us last year and he’s added goals to his game this year - he’s getting the attention he deserved all along.

“He’s the full package and he’s been awesome to play with this year. He’s been unplayable at times and he’s taken on an entire back four on occasions. If he can keep going we’re going to have a good shout in this competition."

UEFA Europa League Tickets: Last Few Remaining!
There are a limited number of tickets left available for Thursday night's UEFA Europa League Quarter-Final (first leg) at the Cottage. Don't miss Fulham's clash with Wolfsburg by booking your tickets now!

Supporters can purchase their match tickets by calling 0870 442 1234 (option 1) or in person by visiting the Ticket Office at Craven Cottage (cash only), which will be open from 9am to 8.50pm on Thursday



Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/March/DaviesWolfsburgPreview.aspx#ixzz0jpTszmup (http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/March/DaviesWolfsburgPreview.aspx#ixzz0jpTszmup)
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 07:59:42 AM
http://www.fulhamfc.com/Tickets/Games/FulhamvWigan.aspx (http://www.fulhamfc.com/Tickets/Games/FulhamvWigan.aspx)
Fulham v Wigan tickets

Barclays Premier League
Sunday 4th April
Kick-Off 15:00


Tickets are now on General Sale

 

Don't miss a day of Family Fun when Wigan Athletic visit Craven Cottage on Easter Sunday (4th April, Kick-Off 3pm).

The day will be one of celebration with street performers entertaining supporters on Stevenage Road before the match. Face painters will also be on hand to add some FFC logos to the faces of our young supporters!

Furthermore, we will be joined by World Record breaking football freestyler Dan Magness, who will be showcasing his skills throughout the day.

Dan recently broke a world record by keeping the ball up for 30 miles across London, starting at Craven Cottage and visiting every Premier League stadium in the capital.

Join Dan and members of the Fulham FC Foundation coaching staff in Bishops Park from 1:45pm for a skills workshop and learn some trade secrets from the best in the business! There will be an opportunity to practice your skills, so make sure you bring appropriate footwear!

Don’t miss out on a great day of entertainment at Craven Cottage this Sunday! Tickets are still available, so buy yours today and make it a day to remember!

Buy your tickets now|

My First Matchday Package
My First Matchday offers Junior supporters and an accompanying adult the opportunity to see what really goes on behind the scenes at Craven Cottage in the build-up to matchday. Pretend you’re a radio commentator in the press box, run down the tunnel, pretend you’re directing the players from the Manager’s seat in the dugout, interview a guardian in front of the TV interview boards, see our trophy cabinet and even meet a Fulham FC legend! More info and prices|

How to Buy Tickets
buy tickets online  - 7 days a week, 24 hrs a day. Save on booking fees by booking online**
by phone on 0870 442 1234 (option 1) - 7 days a week, 24 hrs a day
in person from the Ticket Office: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm; non-match day Sat 10am-12pm
by fax 0207 384 4810 (download printable form )
by postal application to FFC Ticket Office, Stevenage Road, Fulham, SW6 6HH enclosing a stamped addressed envelope (download printable form )
Seatwave - the official fan-to-fan ticket exchange
Thomas Cook - match breaks for all Fulham FC home games
* These exclusive offers are subject to availability and not available on the day of the game.

** Lower booking fees compared to telephone booking

Ticket Office - Easter Opening Times

Thursday 1st April: 9am until half time
Friday 2nd April: 2pm – 4pm to personal callers only
Saturday 3rd April: 10am until midday
Sunday 4th April: 9:30am until half time and open to personal callers post-match
Monday 5th April: CLOSED


Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Tickets/Games/FulhamvWigan.aspx#ixzz0jpUBL4go (http://www.fulhamfc.com/Tickets/Games/FulhamvWigan.aspx#ixzz0jpUBL4go)
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 08:01:47 AM
http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/matches/season=2010/round=2000040/match=2000955/prematch/focus/index.html (http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/matches/season=2010/round=2000040/match=2000955/prematch/focus/index.html)
Davies reveals Fulham's growing belief
Published: Wednesday 31 March 2010, 18.05CETRelative European novices Fulham FC have knocked out FC Shakhtar Donetsk and Juventus and as they prepare to meet VfL Wolfsburg, Simon Davies says confidence is growing all the time.
(http://www.uefa.com/MultimediaFiles/Photo/competitions/Comp_Matches/01/46/51/37/1465137_w2.jpg)
Claiming the prized scalps of FC Shakhtar Donetsk and Juventus in the last two rounds has reinforced belief in the Fulham FC camp that the Cottagers can go all the way in the UEFA Europa League according to winger Simon Davies.

Fulham began the tournament against Lithuania's FK Vėtra in the third qualifying round in late July, simply glad to be involved in continental competition and unsure how they would fare after a seven-year absence. Having progressed through the group stage, though, and then eliminated two former trophy winners, Davies has sensed a shift in expectations among the squad as they prepare to welcome quarter-final opponents VfL Wolfsburg on Thursday.

"Qualifying was one thing, we weren't really sure of a lot of the other teams and how we'd do," said the 30-year-old. "Since we scraped through the group stage with a win in Basle you can sense the excitement in the squad building in every game because this is new for us and everyone is enjoying it. To get past the two clubs we have to reach the quarters has given us the extra belief that we can achieve something in this competition and we're all really excited about it."

Since the 4-1 home defeat of Juventus two weeks ago, one of the greatest nights in the club's history, Fulham's domestic form has suffered. Roy Hodgson's team have lost their last three and Davies concedes the euphoria of the beating the two-time European champions perhaps took its toll. "It's just the way it's gone," added the Welsh international. "After such a big night against Juventus maybe we had a bit of a hangover for the Man City game [a 2-1 home loss] which came so quickly after. We've had tough games but we're more than looking forward to Thursday."

While describing Wolfsburg as a "quality team" who "score lots of goals", Davies is hoping Fulham can use their formidable home record in Europe – they are unbeaten in 14 matches – to their advantage ahead of the return in Germany on 8 April. "We know it's going to be tough; we'll treat them with all the respect they deserve," he said. "But being at home it's up to us to try and take the game to them and hopefully get a lead going into the away leg next week."
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 08:03:08 AM
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11681_6066948,00.html (http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11681_6066948,00.html)
Fulham wait on Zamora
Cottagers boss Hodgson hopeful top scorer will pull through

Fulham striker Bobby Zamora did not train with his team-mates ahead of the club's Europa League quarter-final first leg tie with Wolfsburg.

The Cottagers take on the German champions at Craven Cottage on Thursday and Zamora is a doubt for the clash as he has been suffering from illness.

The problem kept the 29-year-old out of the weekend defeat at Hull City and manager Roy Hodgson revealed the front man had been sent home after reporting to training with a cold.

Hodgson claimed the measure was simply a precaution and remained confident his top scorer would be fit enough to feature in the first leg encounter.

The 62-year-old told Sky Sports News: "He came in today with a cold so we decided not to take any chances with this beautiful spring weather we're experiencing here at the moment.

Arctic
"Rather than send him out in the Arctic conditions we sent him home instead and hopefully he'll be fully fit.

"The people in the medical department are very confident that the precaution was a sensible precaution - but it is a precaution more than anything else.

"I'd be very surprised if he doesn't make it but of course there is always a risk because he didn't train today."

Losing Zamora would hamper Fulham's hopes of taking an advantage back to the Volkswagen Arena for the return leg in eight days' time.

The former Brighton man has struck 15 times this season, including four in European competition.

And while he remains doubtful, Hodgson said he was preparing his team around Zamora starting, admitting the prospect of the striker not pulling through would be a massive blow.

He added: "I'm planning for Zamora playing, there's no question about that. He's in our starting 11 and we're trying to play what we will think will be our best team.

"It'll be a grave disappointment to me and the club and the fans if he isn't able to play."


Achievement and pride
Meanwhile, Hodgson says he is delighted to have progressed so far in the competition despite their domestic campaign descending into mediocrity.

The defeat to Hull sees Fulham lie 12th in the table with seven games remaining, and they have little hope of qualifying for the tournament next season.

Fulham were expected to do very little following their surprise qualification last season, but have upset the odds to reach the final eight.

The likes of European heavyweights Shakhtar Donetsk and Juventus have been defeated in memorable fashion by the London club, with Hodgson backing his players to continue their adventure.

"We have put the cup matches in the shop window," he said. "We feel a sense of achievement and pride that we have overcome so many obstacles to get this far.

"Having overcome those obstacles, many of which were in the shape of very good teams, we have earned the right to believe in ourselves and to believe that, if luck continues to favour us, we can go even further."

He added: "The hard work getting here has been all worthwhile. Then to get past the two clubs we beat to get to the quarters has given us that extra belief that we can achieve something in this cup."
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 08:04:22 AM
http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/88654 (http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/88654)
Zamora set for late fitness test
Football: Fulham will be sweating over the availability of striker Bobby Zamora after he was sent home from training with a cold Wednesday morning ahead of Thursday's Europa League quarter-final first-leg clash with Wolfsburg.

Manager Roy Hodgson is nevertheless hopeful the 29-year-old will be fit to face the German champions at Craven Cottage.

Zamora, Fuham's top scorer with 15 goals in all competitions, will be assessed before kick-off today and is likely to feature.

Hodgson will be relying on the formidable frontman as the London side look to progress in the Europa League competition in one of Fulham's most successful seasons of recent years.

Hodgson admitted he was "on top of the world" after seeing his side knock Juventus out of the Europa League 5-4 on aggregate in the last round and now the Cottagers are only four games away from a European final.

Dickson Etuhu, Damien Duff, Aaron Hughes and Danny Murphy should return to the starting line-up after they were rested, along with Zamora, for the defeat by Hull at the weekend.

Skipper Murphy missed both legs of the epic win over Juventus in the previous round through suspension.

Aaron Hughes said: "Hopefully I'll be back on Thursday night. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed, and of course, I don't want to be left out.

"That said, I understand the manager's reasons for making changes because we have played a lot of games this season. But this is a game that we all want to be involved in - it's another massive night for the club."
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 08:05:24 AM
http://www.fulhamchronicle.co.uk/london-sport/fulham-fc/2010/03/31/fulham-v-wolfsburg-82029-26151044/ (http://www.fulhamchronicle.co.uk/london-sport/fulham-fc/2010/03/31/fulham-v-wolfsburg-82029-26151044/)
Fulham v Wolfsburg
FULHAM frontman Bobby Zamora faces a race against time to be fit for for tomorrow's Europa League quarter-final clash.

The 29-year-old has been laid up through illness which ruled him out of Saturday's defeat at Hull City, and was sent home from training today with a cold.

But Whites boss Roy Hodgson is hopeful the 15-goal striker will recover to face the Bundesliga champions at Craven Cottage.

He said: "I'd be very surprised if he doesn't make it but of course there is always a risk because he didn't train today."

Hodgson is already without John Pantsil and Andy Johnson (injured), while Stefano Okaka, Nicky Shorey, Andranik, Fredrik Stoor, Rob Milsom, Wayne Brown and Matthew Briggs are all unavailable.
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 08:06:45 AM
http://www.sportinglife.com/football/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=soccer/10/03/31/SOCCER_Fulham_Nightlead.html&TEAMHD=soccer (http://www.sportinglife.com/football/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=soccer/10/03/31/SOCCER_Fulham_Nightlead.html&TEAMHD=soccer)
HODGSON WARY OF WOLFSBURG THREAT

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson has no intention of taking Wolfsburg lightly as he attempts to guide his side into yet more unchartered territory.

Fulham's Europa League adventure has already seen them account for UEFA Cup holders Shakhtar Donetsk and Italian giants Juventus.

Wolfsburg may not be as quite as big a name as the Serie A giants but they are the Bundesliga champions and began the season in the Champions League - exiting the tournament after Manchester United beat them 3-1 thanks to Michael Owen's hat-trick.

Hodgson has dismissed suggestions they are any less of a threat to his side's chances of a historic place in the semi-finals.

"I wouldn't say that," he said. "Wolfsburg were in the Champions League, they won the German league last year ahead of Bayern Munich. And Bayern Munich have just beaten Manchester United - so we have no chance.

"What I've learned about Wolfsburg I have only learned since we were drawn against them. But I know they are a good team, they score a lot of goals, they have good attacking players and they are hard-working and well-organised.

"We know the task is a tough one but for me every one of the seven teams we could have played is a good team and a team capable of beating us."

Fulham have lost their last three matches since that epic night at Craven Cottage when Juve were hammered 4-1.

But Hodgson rested five key players in last weekend's defeat at Hull as he prioritised the first leg at Craven Cottage.

"I don't think our performances have been worthy of criticism but there is no doubt that, all the time we were in the cup competitions, they would be somewhat more of a priority than the league because in the league we are relatively safe," he said.

"We have put the cup matches in the shop window.

"We feel a sense of achievement and pride that we have overcome so many obstacles to get this far.

"Having overcome those obstacles, many of which were in the shape of very good teams, we have earned the right to believe in ourselves and to believe that, if luck continues to favour us, we can go even further.

"But we are also conscious of the fact that the teams we are playing are more than capable of beating us so it's going to require another fantastic effort if we are going to continue this adventure."

Midfielder Simon Davies sees no reason why Fulham cannot go all the way in the competition, but echoed his manager's sentiments that Wolfsburg will be no pushovers.

"The hard work getting here has been all worthwhile," he said. "Then to get past the two clubs we beat to get to the quarters has given us that extra belief that we can achieve something in this cup.

"But we know Wolfsburg are a quality team, we've watched a lot of videos this week. They are very offensive and score a lot of goals. It will be a tough game."

Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 08:07:48 AM
http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/newsid=1470905.html (http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/newsid=1470905.html)
Gentner mindful of Fulham mindset

VfL Wolfsburg midfielder Christian Gentner is wary of Fulham FC's spirit given the way the Londoners came back from 4-1 down on aggregate to eliminate Juventus two weeks ago. "Everyone expected Juventus to go through so turning the game around and coming out on top demonstrates their mental strength and a will not to give up, so this something we have to take into account," said the 24-year-old, whose extra-time winner against FC Rubin Kazan sent Die Wölfe through to the quarter-finals. "Being at home Fulham have the upper hand but we started away from home in the last round and went through, so we want to do the same again."
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 08:09:35 AM
http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/matches/season=2010/round=2000040/match=2000955/prematch/preview/index.html (http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/matches/season=2010/round=2000040/match=2000955/prematch/preview/index.html)
Fulham vow to show true colours
Published: Wednesday 31 March 2010, 20.05CET
Roy Hodgson is confident his Fulham FC side can put their recent domestic slump behind them as they welcome a VfL Wolfsburg side with injury concerns over in-form striker Edin Džeko.
(http://www.uefa.com/MultimediaFiles/Photo/competitions/Comp_Matches/01/46/51/04/1465104_w2.jpg)
As Fulham FC, like visitors VfL Wolfsburg, prepare to enter uncharted territory in the shape of Thursday's UEFA Europa League quarter-final first leg, manager Roy Hodgson is confident a recent downturn in domestic form has not affected his team's confidence.

The euphoric 4-1 defeat of Juventus in the round of 16 decider two weeks ago is Fulham's sole victory in their last nine matches. Since when they been beaten by Manchester City FC, exited the FA Cup against Tottenham Hotspur FC and, on Saturday, lost to Premier League strugglers Hull City AFC. Hodgson remains unruffled, and believes his side have not always got the results their performances have deserved.

"Against Man City we were unlucky to lose and at Tottenham we played extremely well, probably better even than against Juventus, while on Saturday we were undone by two unusual goals," said Hodgson, who would be "very surprised" if Bobby Zamora is not fit after sending the forward home from training with a cold.

Hodgson added: "The rest of the time we had the better of the play and so our momentum and the way we're playing is certainly every bit as good as it was when we played Juventus. I'm sure our confidence has not been dented in any way by those results."

Mid-table in Germany having won the title for the first time last season, Wolfsburg have performed impressively since joining the competition from the UEFA Champions League. "They've knocked out Rubin Kazan and Villarreal to get where they are so any team that's capable of beating Russian champions and top Spanish teams is obviously a team that is in good form," Hodgson said.

Striker Edin Džeko has helped Wolfsburg transfer that form into the Bundesliga, scoring six goals in his last six matches, but is nursing a knee injury and is caretaker coach Lorenz-Günther Köstner's only doubt. "I have Grafite and Obafemi Martins as options, even if they also have issues after the last game, but I'm not thinking about that right now – if Džeko doesn't play we'll go from there," said Köstner.

He also made light of Fulham's form, adding: "You know how experienced their coach is and how strong they are so we need approach the game with a lot of respect for our opponents."
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 08:10:35 AM
http://soccernet.espn.go.com/preview?id=290170&cc=5739 (http://soccernet.espn.go.com/preview?id=290170&cc=5739)
Hodgson wary of Wolfsburg
Fulham boss Roy Hodgson has no intention of taking Wolfsburg lightly as he attempts to guide his side into yet more unchartered territory.
Fulham's Europa League adventure has already seen them account for UEFA Cup holders Shakhtar Donetsk and Italian giants Juventus.

Wolfsburg may not be as quite as big a name as the Serie A giants but they are the Bundesliga champions and began the season in the Champions League - exiting the tournament after Manchester United beat them 3-1 thanks to Michael Owen's hat-trick.

Hodgson has dismissed suggestions they are any less of a threat to his side's chances of a historic place in the semi-finals.

"I wouldn't say that,'' he said. "Wolfsburg were in the Champions League, they won the German league last year ahead of Bayern Munich. And Bayern Munich have just beaten Manchester United - so we have no chance.

"What I've learned about Wolfsburg I have only learned since we were drawn against them. But I know they are a good team, they score a lot of goals, they have good attacking players and they are hard-working and well-organised.

"We know the task is a tough one but for me every one of the seven teams we could have played is a good team and a team capable of beating us.''

Fulham have lost their last three matches since that epic night at Craven Cottage when Juve were hammered 4-1.

But Hodgson rested five key players in last weekend's defeat at Hull as he prioritised Thursday's first leg at Craven Cottage.

"I don't think our performances have been worthy of criticism but there is no doubt that, all the time we were in the cup competitions, they would be somewhat more of a priority than the league because in the league we are relatively safe,'' he said.

"We have put the cup matches in the shop window.

"We feel a sense of achievement and pride that we have overcome so many obstacles to get this far.

"But we are also conscious of the fact that the teams we are playing are more than capable of beating us so it's going to require another fantastic effort if we are going to continue this adventure.''

Wolfsburg manager Lorenz-Gunther Kostner told this side they will need to produce something "exceptional'' to win following Fulham's giant-killing run so far.

Kostner said: "We need to come up with some extraordinary performances tomorrow.

"Roy Hodgson is such an experienced manager who had huge success with teams abroad.

"Here at Fulham he has built up a team that not only plays very good football but is also really tight and when they are at their best they are capable of beating any opponent.''

Despite Fulham's recent stuttering form since their win over Juve, Kostner is wary they are unbeaten at home in Europe and this tournament is now their priority.

Kostner said: "The Juventus game was not a one-off. They have played Roma (drawing 1-1 at Craven Cottage) and other big teams,'' he said.

"When you look at Fulham as a club you have to respect them.''
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 08:12:25 AM
http://www.goal.com/en/news/166/europa-league/2010/03/31/1858131/europa-league-preview-fulham-vfl-wolfsburg (http://www.goal.com/en/news/166/europa-league/2010/03/31/1858131/europa-league-preview-fulham-vfl-wolfsburg)
Europa League Preview: Fulham - VfL Wolfsburg
Modest Londoners aim to keep European dream alive against reigning German champions

After suffering a 3-1 defeat against Juventus in Turin and then going a goal down after just two minutes in the return leg at Craven Cottage, Fulham looked dead, buried and well and truly eliminated from the Europa League. Four goals later though, the last of which was a delightful chip from Clint Dempsey, and Roy Hodgson’s men were celebrating a miraculous quarter final place.

That victory on a cold Thursday night is the only one in Fulham’s last five games in all competitions however – the latest defeat coming at the hands of relegation strugglers Hull City. Hodgson afforded some of his key players a much-needed rest over the weekend though, with the Europa League now the priority

After suffering a 3-1 defeat against Juventus in Turin and then going a goal down after just two minutes in the return leg at Craven Cottage, Fulham looked dead, buried and well and truly eliminated from the Europa League. Four goals later though, the last of which was a delightful chip from Clint Dempsey, and Roy Hodgson’s men were celebrating a miraculous quarter final place.

That victory on a cold Thursday night is the only one in Fulham’s last five games in all competitions however – the latest defeat coming at the hands of relegation strugglers Hull City. Hodgson afforded some of his key players a much-needed rest over the weekend though, with the Europa League now the priority
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 08:13:30 AM
http://cravencottagenewsround.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/pinball/ (http://cravencottagenewsround.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/pinball/)
Pinball
Filed under: General — weltmeisterclaude @ 9:09 pm

Terrific game tonight between Arsenal and Barcelona.

Some thoughts:

To me, it looks like you really have to get at Barca down the flanks.  I thought it was going to be Nasri getting behind Alves, but in the end it was down the other side.   This seems to be their only weakness.   You can’t bomb forward that much and be watertight at the back.

Fussy refereeing, and the awarding of soft fouls around the field while anything goes in the area (late penalty notwithstanding).   Here’s a solution:   for fouls in the area you give a free-kick, unless the player has a clear goalscoring opportunity.     This way silly, innocuous fouls in the area would be punished.  At the moment they are not because the punishment would not fit the crime (entire rugby games are decided in this arbitrary fashion, but this is another argument).    You can foul as much as you like in the penalty area, because no referee will blow for it.   So yes, my proposal:  foul in area when clear in on goal = penalty; foul in area when no goalscoring opportunity = free-kick.    Why not?

Back to the game.   One of Roy’s great mentors was Dave Sexton, and one of Dave Sexton’s great coaching mantras was counter-attacking.    That’s not counter-attacking in the Eastern-European sense, in which you sit back and soak up pressure, then spring back on the break (if anyone wants to understand more about this I’ve read an absolutely brilliant article by Vaclav Jezek, who coached Czechoslovakia in the 70s.  Jezek describes step-by-step how he taught his team to counter-attack – fascinating).

Anyway, Dave Sexton’s version of counter-attacking is what you do when you lose the ball, namely fight like mad to win it back.    This is the norm nowadays, but Sexton used to make this a vital part of his coaching, and focused on engaging his entire team in a hunt for the ball once an attack had broken down.    Roy took this (among other) tactics with him to Halmstads in the 70s, and it helped make him so successful there.

The point here is that Barcelona are so good because they keep the ball so long (so straight away you have far fewer attacks in which to find a goalscoring chance) and then hunt it down so fast when they lose it.  Massively impressive to watch, and Arsenal’s feat in getting a 2-2 should not be underestimated here.

Nice to see Ibrahimovic score twice, if only to shut up his doubters over here.    He’s the player Zamora would be if he could play like this for the rest of his career, and was even better.    But it raises the question:  is there anyone more like Ibrahimovic in England than Zamora?

Really, games like these are what make football so thrilling.   The tempo is like the old George Orwell writing doctrine:  never use any more words than you have to.    These teams never take any more time, or touches, than they have to.  It’s brilliant to see.
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 08:17:43 AM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1262642/West-Ham-war-Roy-Hodgson-Legal-threat-Fulham-playing-reserves.html?ITO=1490 (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1262642/West-Ham-war-Roy-Hodgson-Legal-threat-Fulham-playing-reserves.html?ITO=1490)
West Ham at war with Roy Hodgson: Legal threat over Fulham playing reserves
By Laura Williamson
Last updated at 1:27 AM on 01st April 2010


West Ham are planning to lodge a complaint against Fulham after Roy Hodgson made six changes and lost 2-0 against Hull City on Saturday.

The win gave Hull a Premier League lifeline as they moved level on points with West Ham with a game in hand.

Gianfranco Zola’s side only stayed out of the bottom three on goal difference after suffering a sixth consecutive defeat against Stoke City.

A West Ham source said: ‘Roy Hodgson admitted on TV that he rested players because he had an important Europa League match coming up. He admitted fielding a weakened team. From our point of view that is awful and we are going to put in a complaint.’

West Ham are planning to lodge a complaint against Fulham after Roy Hodgson made six changes and lost 2-0 against Hull City on Saturday.

The win gave Hull a Premier League lifeline as they moved level on points with West Ham with a game in hand.

Gianfranco Zola’s side only stayed out of the bottom three on goal difference after suffering a sixth consecutive defeat against Stoke City.

A West Ham source said: ‘Roy Hodgson admitted on TV that he rested players because he had an important Europa League match coming up. He admitted fielding a weakened team. From our point of view that is awful and we are going to put in a complaint.’

He said: ‘We have no case to answer. I made the decision to rest four or five players knowing full well I had the right to do that with the quality of players at my disposal. That meant that Murphy, Etuhu, Duff and Zamora (right) didn’t play five games in 12 days.’
Hodgson spent the early part of Fulham’s European campaign insisting Premier League survival was the club’s priority. But now his attitude has clearly changed
(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/03/31/article-1262642-08F31B85000005DC-925_233x627.jpg)
Sitting in mid-table, 11 points above the relegation zone, the Fulham boss can afford to prioritise a cup competition. ‘We’re entitled to focus more on the Europa League,’ he said. ‘Our performances haven’t been worthy of any criticism, but there’s no doubt that we’ve made a conscious decision that the cup competition will be more of a priority than the league because we’re relatively safe.

‘We looked at it and said we could still be OK, even if we lost every game in the league and the teams below us got more than they’d been getting. we can put the cup matches in the “shop window”.’
But, for the teams for whom relegation is still a pressing threat, Fulham’s Europa League run could have a real impact on the final league table.

Fulham play relegation strugglers Wigan on Sunday, and, should they beat Wolfsburg, a two-leg semi-final against Hamburg or Standard Liege would have to be squeezed in between matches against Wolves, Everton and West Ham, who play their final away game at Craven Cottage.

In Fulham’s defence, tonight’s match will be their 52nd of the season and their 15th in a European campaign that is entering its 10th month.

Hodgson said: ‘This period I’ve experienced at Fulham, the number of games, has never happened to me in my life. We’ve played every three days for three months.

‘When I reached the UEFA Cup final with Inter Milan we played 12 games back in 1997, but the ties against Wolfsburg are our 15th and 16th game in this competition.

'That shows you what we’ve achieved.’


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1262642/West-Ham-war-Roy-Hodgson-Legal-threat-Fulham-playing-reserves.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0jpYgEsZr (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1262642/West-Ham-war-Roy-Hodgson-Legal-threat-Fulham-playing-reserves.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0jpYgEsZr)
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 08:21:56 AM
http://soccerlens.com/fulham-v-wolfsburg-preview-1-april-2010/42415/ (http://soccerlens.com/fulham-v-wolfsburg-preview-1-april-2010/42415/)
Fulham v Wolfsburg – Preview – 1 April 2010
Fulham v Wolfsburg
UEFA Europa League Quarterfinal 1st Leg
Craven Cottage – London, England
1 April 2010 – 20:05 GMT


Fulham continues their improbable UEFA Europa League against reigning Bundesliga champions Wolfsburg on Thursday night.

Fulham v Wolfsburg Preview
After their surprise 4-1 win in the second leg against Juventus, Fulham is now in the quarterfinals and believing they have a chance to win the entire tournament. The English side has most of their key players healthy for the match but have lost their last three matches since the Juventus win.

Wolfsburg started out in the Champions League in the fall but failed to advance to the knockout stage. They defeated Russian side FK Rubin Kazan in the round of 16 with a 3-2 aggregate win. Wolfsburg is 4-1-1 in their last six matches and earned draws in both away matches of the earlier Europa League rounds.

Overall, Fulham have been able to make Craven Cottage a fortress in the last few seasons. They are 9-2-4 in the EPL at the Cottage and have a 6-1-0 in the Europa League. The leading scorers for Fulham in the Europa League are Zoltan Gera and Bobby Zamora. These two players will likely be the starting forwards and proved very successful in the Juventus victory. Wolfsburg’s leading scorer in the UEFA Europa League is Grafite who has three goals.

Fulham are growing with confidence and should be the slight favorites for Thursday’s match. They’ve proven they can beat any club at the Cottage and should get a lead heading into the second leg. Wolfsburg will be confident if they can keep it within one goal and get any away goals. A 1-0 or 2-1 scoreline seems most likely.

Fulham v Wolfsburg Prediction
Fulham will iwn the match 1-0.
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 08:25:01 AM
http://www.dailystar.co.uk/football/view/128870/Roy-Hodgson-proud-over-Fulham-s-Europe-run-/ (http://www.dailystar.co.uk/football/view/128870/Roy-Hodgson-proud-over-Fulham-s-Europe-run-/)
Roy Hodgson proud over Fulham's Europe run
ROY Hodgson claims that ­Fulham’s historic European adventure already beats ­anything he achieved with ­Inter Milan.

Hodgson took Italian giants Inter all the way to the UEFA Cup final in 1997 before losing to German side Schalke on penalties.

But he reckons leading Fulham to the quarter-finals of the Europa League is a much bigger achievement because of the gruelling nature of the competition.

Hodgson, whose side face German ­champions Wolfsburg tonight, said: “This group of players deserve credit.

“Ten months is a long, long time to be playing. We have been playing since the last week of July and it’s a long haul.

“This will be our 17th game in the ­competition. When I reached the final with Inter, we played 12 games and that was with a two-legged final.

“It’s half a season longer now. That shows you what we have achieved.

“And Inter didn’t confront anything like the standard of opposition we have with Fulham this season.”

Back in 1997, Hodgson’s Inter had a ­relatively soft route to the final, seeing off Guingamp, Sturm Graz, Monaco and ­Anderlecht.

But Fulham have had to beat mighty ­Juventus and Champions League side Shakhtar Donetsk to get this far, as well as Basle and Roma.

Tonight’s test comes against yet another who played in European football’s elite competition this season. Wolfsburg were in the group stages with Manchester ­United.

Midfielder Simon Davies said: “They are a quality team. We have seen videos of them. They are very offensive and score a lot of goals, so it’ll be difficult.

“Maybe the fans won’t find them as glamorous as Juventus, but we’ve got a lot of respect for them in our dressing room.

“We haven’t underestimated them. It’s a quarter-final and we’re playing the ­German champions. There’s enough there to get us going.”

The Europa League often takes a back seat to the Champions League, but ­Davies reckons a proposal to give the winners of the former a place in the latter would change that.

He said: “I’m sure it would give the ­competition a boost. The Champions League is the pinnacle of club football.”
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 08:26:40 AM
http://uk.soccerway.com/news/2010/April/01/fulham-star-schwarzer-plans-to-erase-euro-misery/ (http://uk.soccerway.com/news/2010/April/01/fulham-star-schwarzer-plans-to-erase-euro-misery/)
Fulham star Schwarzer plans to erase Euro misery
LONDON (AFP) - Mark Schwarzer is desperate to make amends for one of the worst moments of his career by helping Fulham continue their Europa League fairytale with a quarter-final victory over German champions Wolfsburg.

Australian goalkeeepr Schwarzer was a member of the Middlesbrough team that enjoyed a remarkable run to the UEFA Cup final in 2006, only to see their dreams of winning the club's first European trophy brought to an abrupt halt as Sevilla thrashed them 4-0 in Eindhoven.

Schwarzer still winces when he thinks back to that night, but the Europa League - the rebranded version of the UEFA Cup - has provided him with far more enjoyable memories this season.

Roy Hodgson's side emerged from a tough group including Roma before eliminating holders Shakhtar Donetsk in the last 32.

That was just the warm-up for the greatest result in the unfashionable English club's history as they over-turned a 3-1 first leg deficit to knock out two-time European champions Juventus on a magical evening at Craven Cottage.

And with a place in the final now within touching distance, Schwarzer is eying a shot at redemption.

"It's always heartbreaking to lose a major final. We lost 4-0, but I don't think that was a fair reflection of how the match went," Schwarzer said.

"We were a goal down with 15 minutes left and pushed forward, and they hit us on the break.

"To have the opportunity to play in another final again would be unbelievable.

"The team's hungry to be successful and it's showed in our performances so far. I'd love to go all the way."

If Fulham are to add Wolfsburg to their growing list of scalps, they need another influential performance from Hungary midfielder Zoltan Gera, whose two goals in the second leg helped sink Juventus.

Gera's imagination, limitless energy and eye for goal have been an ideal foil for the more direct qualities of striker Bobby Zamora.

The pair tormented Juve's World Cup winning defender Fabio Cannavaro to such an extent that he was sent off for fouling Gera before half-time and they are set to lead Fulham's attack again on Thursday.

They will need to be at their best as Hodgson's side have lost all three matches - including an FA Cup quarter-final against Spurs - since beating Juventus, but Gera insists Fulham's thirst for success hasn't been quenched just yet.

"It's already a big achievement to have reached the last eight of the Europa League but we're still hungry," Gera said.

"Wolfsburg are a good attacking team that score a lot of goals. We need to be very careful against them because they have some top strikers and attacking midfielders.

"We need to defend well but they do concede so hopefully we can score some goals. It's very important to keep a clean sheet in these types of games."

Fulham's cause would be helped if highly-rated Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko is unable to recover from a knee injury.

Dzeko, a reported transfer target for Arsenal and Chelsea, scored twice in the weekend win at Mainz before he suffered the injury in training on Monday, leaving Wolfsburg coach Lorenz-Guenther Koestner concerned that his star player won't be able to make the trip to London.
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 08:29:34 AM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/fulham/7541944/Fulham-v-Wolfsburg-Roy-Hodgson-insists-he-has-no-case-to-answer-on-weakened-team.html (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/fulham/7541944/Fulham-v-Wolfsburg-Roy-Hodgson-insists-he-has-no-case-to-answer-on-weakened-team.html)
Fulham v Wolfsburg: Roy Hodgson insists he has no case to answer on weakened team
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson is adamant he has no case to answer after fielding a weakened team against Hull City last weekend in preparation for Thursday night's Europa League quarter-final against Wolfsburg.

Struggling West Ham United are reportedly ready to make a complaint to the Premier League after seeing Hull, one of their rivals in the battle to survive relegation, beat an under-strength Fulham team 2-0 last Saturday, to boost their prospects of staying in the top-flight. The result left West Ham in 18th place, above Hull on goal difference.

Hodgson, mindful of the impending match against German champions Wolfsburg, rested Bobby Zamora, Danny Murphy, Aaron Hughes, Dickson Etuhu and Damien Duff at the KC Stadium and all are likely to start on Thursday.

But the Fulham manager, who revealed striker Zamora had to be sent home from training on the eve of the game after suffering from a cold, insists he would fight his corner if West Ham pressed ahead with any complaint.

“We have no case to answer, I am perfectly happy with the team selection,” Hodgson said. “I’m planning for Zamora to play against Wolfsburg. We’ll play our best team, so it would be a great disappointment if he’s not able to play.

“We haven’t prioritised, but in one particular game, after we played Juventus, Manchester City and Tottenham and prior to playing Wolfsburg on the Thursday, I made the decision to rest four or five players knowing I had the right to do that with the quality I have at my disposal.

“It meant those players did not play five games in 12 days, when they have been playing five games in 12 days the rest of the time. It’s never happened in my life before, I’ve never had a series of three months where we played every three days for three months.”

Hodgson will hope Zamora is fit for the visit of the German champions, having seen him torment two-time European champions Juventus in the round of 16.

Zamora scored Fulham’s first in that stunning 4-1 victory at Craven Cottage and with England strikers Jermain Defoe and Wayne Rooney currently battling back from injuries, Fulham midfielder Simon Davies believes his team-mate deserves a chance in Fabio Capello’s squad.

“Forwards get rated by the goals they score and he’s added that to his game this year and got the attention he deserved all along,” Davies said.

“When he pulls his game together he’s almost unplayable. If he carries on until the end of the season he’s surely got a chance of making the England squad.”

Probable teams

Fulham (4-5-1): Schwarzer; Baird, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky; Duff, Murphy, Etuhu, Davies, Gera; Zamora.

Wolfsburg (4-4-2): Benaglio; Madlung, Riether, Barzagli, Schafer; Pekarik, Misimovic, Gentner, Josue; Grafite, Dzeko.
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 08:36:10 AM
http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/sport/amateur-football/2010/04/01/fulham-manager-roy-hodgson-is-wary-of-the-threat-posed-by-europa-league-opponents-wolfsburg-100252-26153188/ (http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/sport/amateur-football/2010/04/01/fulham-manager-roy-hodgson-is-wary-of-the-threat-posed-by-europa-league-opponents-wolfsburg-100252-26153188/)
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson is wary of the threat posed by Europa League opponents Wolfsburg
FULHAM boss Roy Hodgson has no intention of taking Wolfsburg lightly as he attempts to guide his side into yet more unchartered territory.

Fulham’s Europa League adventure has already seen them account for UEFA Cup holders Shakhtar Donetsk and Italian giants Juventus.

Wolfsburg may not be as quite as big a name as the Serie A giants but they are the Bundesliga champions and began the season in the Champions League – exiting the tournament after Manchester United beat them 3-1 thanks to Michael Owen’s hat-trick.

Hodgson has dismissed suggestions they are any less of a threat to his side’s chances of a historic place in the semi-finals.

“I wouldn’t say that,” he said. “Wolfsburg were in the Champions League, they won the German league last year ahead of Bayern Munich. And Bayern Munich have just beaten Manchester United – so we have no chance.

“What I’ve learned about Wolfsburg I have only learned since we were drawn against them. But I know they are a good team, they score a lot of goals, they have good attacking players and they are hard-working and well-organised.

“We know the task is a tough one but for me every one of the seven teams we could have played is a good team and a team capable of beating us.”

Fulham have lost their last three matches since that epic night at Craven Cottage when Juve were hammered 4-1.

But Hodgson rested five key players in last weekend’s defeat at Hull as he prioritised tonight’s first leg at Craven Cottage.

“I don’t think our performances have been worthy of criticism but there is no doubt that, all the time we were in the cup competitions, they would be somewhat more of a priority than the league because in the league we are relatively safe,” he said.
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 08:37:25 AM
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11685_6068339,00.html (http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11685_6068339,00.html)
Hammers to make Fulham complaint
West Ham unhappy over KC Stadium line-up
West Ham are to lodge a complaint against Fulham after Roy Hodgson fielded a weakened side in last weekend's defeat to Hull City.

Hodgson rested a number of key stars for the Cottagers against Hull as he prepared for Thursday's Europa League quarter-final tie with Wolfsburg.

The Tigers secured a 2-0 win at the KC Stadium to move level on points with West Ham with a game in hand.

Fulham boss Hodgson has defended his decision to rest players and was unfazed by talk that the club could find itself in trouble with the Premier League over his line-up.

Complaint
However, West Ham are now planning to make a formal complaint to the Premier League with relations between the two clubs still strained as Fulham are still suing West Ham for "merit money" lost in 2006/07 as a result of the Carlos Tevez affair.

"Roy Hodgson admitted on television that he had rested players because he had an important Europa League match coming up," a West Ham spokesman is quoted as saying in The Sun.

"He admitted fielding a weakened team. From our point of view that's awful and we are going to put in a complaint."

The spokesman added: "Fulham are suing us for £500,000. They may find West Ham suing them for £50million next season."
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 12:49:20 PM
http://www.capitalfm.com/news-travel/sport/tough-matches-for-english-teams/ (http://www.capitalfm.com/news-travel/sport/tough-matches-for-english-teams/)
Tough Matches For English Teams
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson says the Europa League is a far tougher competition to be successful in than a decade ago when he was in charge of Inter Milan.
In 1997 Hodgson guided Inter to the final of what was then the UEFA Cup before they lost on penalties to Schalke.
Tonight he will attempt to lead Fulham a step closer to this season's final. He faces Bundesliga champions Wolfsburg at Craven Cottage for the first leg of their quarter-final.
Hodgson told the media: "These will be our 16th and 17th games in this competition. When I got to the final with Inter, which was a double-headed final, we played 12 games.
"Now we'll have ended up playing 17 even if we go out, so it's half the season
longer.
He expects a tough match and will have some fresh players after he rested five players for Saturday's defeat at Hull.
Liverpool play Benfica in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final first leg in Lisbon tonight.
Rafael Benitez has admitted his squad has not been as strong as other clubs.
"It has been a difficult season for young players as well because they have had to perform on the pitch when the team is not doing well."
If Liverpool make it to the semi-final they will play Benitez's former side Valencia or striker Fernando Torres' ex-team-mates from Atletico Madrid.
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 12:50:47 PM
http://itn.co.uk/a84a288a37cd5e78aff1217d3f529110.html (http://itn.co.uk/a84a288a37cd5e78aff1217d3f529110.html)
Europa League a tough slog for Fulham
(http://itn.co.uk/story2289b688ed688f96e7e9a0070b7b4b11.jpg)
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson believes the Europa League is a far tougher competition to be successful in than when he was rampaging across Europe with Inter Milan.

In 1997 Hodgson guided Inter to the final of what was then the Uefa Cup before losing on penalties to Schalke.

He is now attempting to lead Fulham a step closer to this season's showpiece when another German outfit, Bundesliga champions Wolfsburg, arrive at Craven Cottage for the first leg of their quarter-final.

It promises to be another memorable chapter in an adventure which began with a trip to Vetra Vilnius of Lithuania back in July and has since taken in, among others, Basle, Roma, Shakhtar Donetsk and Juventus.

"Ten months is a long time to be playing," admitted Hodgson.

"These will be our 16th and 17th games in this competition. When I got to the final with Inter, which was a double-headed final, we played 12 games."

He added: "Now we'll have ended up playing 17 even if we go out, so it's half the season longer.

"That shows what we have achieved, and in reaching that final at Inter we did not encounter anything like the standard of opposition that we have had to meet here."
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 12:52:59 PM
http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/166479/Hodgson-bays-for-Wolfsburg-blood- (http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/166479/Hodgson-bays-for-Wolfsburg-blood-)
HODGSON BAYS FOR WOLFSBURG BLOOD
ROY HODGSON is too long in the tooth to make the mistake of underestimating the opposition, particularly ones who are the current champions of the Bundesliga.


But he insisted that, with a fair wind and a slice of good luck, Fulham can make it to the Europa League final.

Having already beaten the might of Serie A’s Juventus in the previous round, and before them last year’s winners in Shakhtar Donetsk, his side have already achieved more, so he said, than the Inter team he took to the final in 1996-97 only to lose on penalties to another German side, Schalke.

“We feel a real sense of achievement already at having overcome so many obstacles to get this far,” he said as he contemplated tonight’s quarter-final first leg at Craven Cottage against Wolfsburg.

“It will require another fantastic effort on the part of the players if we’re going to continue this adventure against a team of their quality. But we’ve earned the right to believe in ourselves and to believe that, if luck continues to favour us, we can go even further.”

Hodgson refused to be drawn on reports West Ham were to lodge a complaint over his team rotation in the defeat by Hull on Saturday, saying only that the club had no case to answer. However, he might allow himself a wry smile as he builds the case for the defence.

Tonight’s encounter will be the 52nd game of Fulham’s season and their 15th in the Europa League – a campaign that started when the nights were still long last July and one that has taken in seven midweek trips already.

“Ten months is a long time to be playing in this competition,” he said. “When we reached the final with Inter, we played 12 games back in 1997. That shows what we have achieved here

“In reaching that final with Inter, we didn’t confront anything like the standard of opposition we have this season with Fulham.”

With each passing round, Fulham’s focus has moved more unashamedly to this competition and, for all that Hodgson maintained earlier in the season that the league was the priority, he cautiously acknowledged yesterday that this is now their No1.

“We are entitled to focus more on the Europa League now,” he said. “Our performances haven’t been worthy of any criticism but we have made a decision that the cup competition will be more of a priority than the league because we’re relatively safe.

“When we got to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and the Europa League and we’d reached 38 points in the league, we looked at it and said we could still be OK even if we lost every game in the league and the teams below us got more than they had been getting.”

Hodgson knows it would be more than useful to take a lead to Germany next Thursday.

“I’m looking at two fairly tight games with a mistake or a wonder goal deciding the outcome of the tie.

“Wolfsburg are a good team who score a lot of goals. They’re a hard-working, organised team as well. Even if they’ve not had the best season domestically the task ahead for us is a tough one.” For all that, Hodgson made all the right noises and will have told his players all about Wolfsburg’s travails in the Bundesliga this season.

Despite ending up as champions, their exit from the Champions League – they finished third in Manchester United’s group – prompted a collapse to their current position mid-table in ninth.

Wolfsburg’s main striker, the highly rated and similarly valued Edin Dzeko, could still be a doubt for tonight’s game after picking up a knee injury in training on Monday.

Hodgson was not without his late scares either after striker Bobby Zamora appeared at training suffering from a cold.

Zamora was sent home immediately but Hodgson reported yesterday that he was in the starting XI and that Fulham’s medical department were “very confident” he would be OK for the match.

FULHAM (probable): Schwarzer; Baird, Hangeland, Hughes, Konchesky; Duff, Murphy, Etuhu, Davies; Gera, Zamora.

WOLFSBURG (probable): Benaglio; Pekarik, Madlung, Barzagli, Schafer; Josue; Riether, Misimovic, Gentner; Grafite, Dzeko.

Referee: D Skomina (Slovenia).

Kick-off: 8.05pm. TV: ESPN 7.15pm.
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 12:56:37 PM
http://www.wigan.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=193808 (http://www.wigan.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=193808)
Meet The Ref - Fulham V Latics - Mark Clattenburg
Wigan Athletics Premier League match against Fulham at Craven Cottage on Sunday will be refereed by Mark Clattenburg who started refereeing at the age of 15 as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.

At 34 he is one of the youngest top flight referees and also one of the best, in my opinion, not afraid to make decisions and not afraid to make his point, he proved this when earlier this season he came out in defence of the under fire Alan Wiley when he was attacked by Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson, Clattenburg quickly responded to the taunts on his colleagues fitness levels with: 'You just try to be in the best position to make a decision and, forget about the politics of Alan`s fitness levels, if you look back at his decision-making in that game it was practically faultless'

'So if we are looking from a refereeing point of view, forget the politics, he called most things right. I could be two metres away and still not see it. I could be 20 metres away and see it. So what`s right and what`s wrong?

'All Premier League football is so fast and I think we will accept that. The laws of the game are different. Even the back-pass law has increased the speed of the game. The multi-ball system in different stadiums has increased it.

'Crowds are more compact, so the ball comes back quicker. As a referee you are wanting to draw breath, but you don`t try to take a natural breather.'

Clattenburg has already refereed the Latics four times this season, the opening day win at Aston Villa, the 2-1 defeat at Hull, our home draw against Blackburn and the draw in the FA Cup 4th round away at Notts County.

Card Watch

Mark Clattenburg has had 35 games so far this season issuing 90 yellow cards and 5 reds

Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 12:58:22 PM
http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=193833 (http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=193833)
Fulham - Davies Dismisses Claim!
Much has been made about tiredness creeping in after s many games!Many pundits have predicted that it`ll eventually prove to be our undoing, especially as we chase European honours with a tasty fixture against Wolfsburg.

But Simon Davies doesn`t agree and on the eve of the game has remarked,

'It's different, more mentally than physically, when the games come so close together but we're not suffering from that. Everyone's enjoying it and no-one's looking tired."

'There's a lot of respect for Wolfsburg in our dressing room. They score a lot of goals so we definitely haven't underestimated them."

'It's the quarter-finals and we are paying the German champions. There's enough there to get us going.'

Indeed it is, my mouth is watering already!
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 12:59:30 PM
http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=193830 (http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=193830)
Fulham - Another Half A Season!
Back in the summer, I was one of those who thought our participation in the Europa League would hamper our season rather than enhance it.
I couldn`t have been further wrong!

Tonight, after memorable wins in the knockout stages over Juventus and Shakhtar, we take on the German champions, Wolfsburg, in a mammoth quarter-final tie.

It`s a tie that Craven Cottage cannot wait for as it represents yet another chance for Fulham Football Club to proudly stamp its name on the newest of European competitions.

Ahead of the clash though, (Sir) Roy Hodgson has taken time out to discuss the Europa League but also comparing it to when he was actively involved in European competition with Milan when he remarks,

"Ten months is a long time to be playing.'

"These will be our 16th and 17th games in this competition. When I got to the final with Inter, which was a double-headed final, we played 12 games."

'Now we'll have ended up playing 17 even if we go out, so it's half the season longer."

'That shows what we have achieved, and in reaching that final at Inter we did not encounter anything like the standard of opposition that we have had to meet here.'

On reflection, have UEFA made the Europa League too long a competition?

Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 01:00:48 PM
http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=193832 (http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=193832)
Fulham - Roy Explains (Again)!
With West Ham United keen to re-enact that famous Shakespeare play, The Merchant of Venice and play the part of Shylock, (Sir) Roy Hodgson has once again come out and explained why he rested key players last Saturday.
Speaking ahead of the clash with Wolfsburg tonight, Roy has remarked about the situation,

'We haven't prioritised,'

'But in one particular game after we played Juventus, Manchester City and Tottenham and prior to playing Wolfsburg, I made the decision to rest four or five players knowing full well I had a right to do that with the quality I have at my disposal."

'It meant those players did not play five games in 12 days, when they have been playing five games in 12 days the rest of the time."

'It's never happened in my life before, I've never had a series where we played every three days for three months.'

So there you have it, wind your necks in West Ham, you might understand the problem if you ever reached Europe!

Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 01:02:12 PM
http://www.tribalfootball.com/fulham-boss-hodgson-zamora-will-make-wolfsburg-clash-740741 (http://www.tribalfootball.com/fulham-boss-hodgson-zamora-will-make-wolfsburg-clash-740741)
http://www.tribalfootball.com/fulham-boss-hodgson-zamora-will-make-wolfsburg-clash-740741

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson is confident Bobby Zamora will be fit for tonight's Europa League clash with Wolfsburg.

Zamora was sent home from training yesterday feeling ill.

Hodgson is confident his 16-goal striker will recover from a cold and be ready to face the reigning German champions.

“He came in today with a cold so we decided not to take any chances with this beautiful spring weather we’re experiencing at the moment!" Hodgson said.

"We sent him home in the hope that he’ll be fully fit. The medical department are very confident. It was a precaution more than anything else. I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t make it, though the risk exists because he didn’t train.

"I’m planning for Zamora to play. He’s in our starting XI. We’ll play our best team tomorrow, so it’d be a great disappointment if he’s not able to play.”
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 01:05:10 PM
http://www.sportinglife.com/football/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=soccer/10/04/01/SOCCER_Wigan_Martinez.html&TEAMHD=soccer (http://www.sportinglife.com/football/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=soccer/10/04/01/SOCCER_Wigan_Martinez.html&TEAMHD=soccer)
MARTINEZ: NO COMPLAINTS ABOUT FULHAM
 
By Andy Hampson, Press Association Sport
(http://images.sportinglife.com/10/02/330/Roberto-Martinez-Birmingham-v-Wigan_2425182.jpg)
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez claims to have no problem with Fulham's decision to field an understrength team last week.

It has been reported relegation battlers West Ham could complain after Fulham rested a number of players for last week's trip to another struggling side in Hull and lost 2-0.

West Ham are above Hull and the Barclays Premier League relegation zone only on goal difference.

Wigan are only four points better off and could yet be dragged into the scrap but Martinez - perhaps not surprisingly as his team face Europa League quarter-finalists Fulham themselves on Sunday - is not complaining.

Martinez said: "As a manager you always make decisions that can help your team.

"Roy Hodgson and Fulham have had such a successful season - they know exactly what they have got behind the scenes and know what they need.

"For anyone to criticise another football club when they are in such outstanding form is very foolish.

"Roy Hodgson has got to make the decisions to help his team achieve their aims for the season."

Wigan's trip to Craven Cottage this weekend comes between the two legs of Fulham's Europa League last-eight tie against Wolfsburg.

Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 01:08:10 PM
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-sport/football/article-23821029-mark-schwarzer-can-keep-wolves-from-the-door.do (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-sport/football/article-23821029-mark-schwarzer-can-keep-wolves-from-the-door.do)
Mark Schwarzer can keep wolves from the door
David Smith
(http://i.thisislondon.co.uk/i/pix/2010/03/Mark-Schwarzer-415.jpg)
Fulham will find themselves thrown to goal-hungry wolves tonight but Roy Hodgson believes he has just the man to muzzle one of the most effective attacks in European football.

If Fulham's remarkable progress through the Europa League is to result in reaching the semi-finals at the expense of German Bundesliga champions Wolfsburg, much will depend on goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer maintaining the form that has made the veteran Australian his side's unsung hero.

Bobby Zamora, who should play in the quarter-final first leg at Craven Cottage despite being sent home from training yesterday suffering from a cold, has been showered with plaudits for performances that have promoted the striker into late contention for a call into England's World Cup side.

Skipper Danny Murphy, who returns to European action following a two-match ban, has been the midfield inspiration behind another stellar Fulham season that includes reaching the last eight in the FA Cup. And Brede Hangeland has been his usual tower of strength at the heart of the defence.

But the equally commanding Schwarzer, who at 37 years of age has added maturity and experience to reactions that remain lightning fast, is primarily responsible for Fulham remaining unbeaten in seven home games in the European competition.

That record is bound to be tested against a Wolfsburg side that have scored 52 goals in just 28 Bundesliga matches — ominously, Fulham's 33 goals in 31 Premier League fixtures pales by comparison — and netted nine in a failed Champions League group stage campaign which included a brace against Manchester United.

But those statistics won't worry the unflappable Schwarzer who, in a season that has now stretched to 51 competitive games, has been absent from Fulham's line-up on just three occasions. Hodgson admitted his keeper has “done fantastically well”.

The Fulham boss has worked wonders with an injury-hit squad that at one stage left him to select from just 14 first-team professionals. Schwarzer, fortunately, has given him little to worry about.

Hodgson said: “With goalkeepers you can get away with it a little bit more. If you look at the records of the players who have played the longest number of consecutive games, quite often goalkeepers are right up there.

“Mark has been fantastically consistent, he's been very good for us. He's a calming influence, just the type of goalkeeper that we need.”

Schwarzer revealed he is motivated by the nightmare memory of the 2006 final of the UEFA Cup, now rebranded the Europa League, when his Middlesbrough side were thrashed 4-0 by Sevilla in Eindhoven.

He said: “To have the opportunity to play in another final would be unbelievable. The team are hungry to be successful and it's showed in our performances so far. I'd love to go all the way again.”

Much could depend on whether Wolfsburg's star striker Edin Dzeko, scorer of both of those goals against United, has recovered from a knee injury sustained in training.

The Bosnian, who attracted pre-season interest from Chelsea and Arsenal, has formed an effective strike force with Brazilian Grafite. But Hodgson has done his homework and said: “Wolfsburg are much more than a team that have just two good front players.

“They're a team that have an awful lot of good players in all areas and I think those who haven't seen them play are going to be surprised by the quality of their football.

“Like most German teams they're very athletic and they're very technical. And the foreign players they've brought into the club have gelled very well with the German ones.”

The received wisdom is that Fulham must take a handy lead to the second leg in Germany next Thursday if they are to meet either Hamburg or Standard Liege for a place in the final. But Hodgson has sought to relieve the pressure on his men tonight.

“Our away record in Europe is not bad,” he said. “We got through the group stage by beating Basel who are great at home. We outplayed Roma despite losing 2-1. But that was with nine men because the referee decided to send off two of our players.”
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 01:09:30 PM
http://cravencottagenewsround.wordpress.com/2010/04/01/wolfsburg/ (http://cravencottagenewsround.wordpress.com/2010/04/01/wolfsburg/)
Wolfsburg!
Filed under: General — weltmeisterclaude @ 10:45 am

Anyone who’s spent any time on Betfair will know that one of the more tempting gambles is the over/under 2.5 goals bet.   And if you’ve flicked through the various leagues available, you’ll have seen that the majority of Bundesliga games tend to involve a lot of scoring.

It’s the highest scoring of Europe’s ‘major leagues’ (France is still going the other way:  Auxerre were recently top having scored and conceded fewer than a goal a game).

So when people talk up attacking players in Germany we have to be careful.  If Roy has taught us anything, it’s that the team is all important: what players accomplish in these teams is very much a function of that team’s way of playing.  And in Germany the trend is towards goalscoring, as sort of Ossie Ardiles style “we’ll let you score three because we will back ourselves to score four” type approach, which must be great fun for the fans but frightening to anyone who plays at the back.

Which is a long way of saying that it is probably too simplistic to assume that Wolfsburg are all about their forwards and can’t defend.   They, like a lot of German sides, appear to emphasise attacking at the expense of defending.

I was interested to see what happens when German teams play in Europe.  Does this attacking bent impose itself on opponents? It’s generalising somewhat, but it’ll work for our purposes:

 Athletic Bilbao          (0) 0 Werder Bremen            (3) 3
 Bayern München           (0) 0 Juventus                 (0) 0
 Bayern München           (0) 1 Maccabi Haifa            (0) 0
 Besiktas JK (Istanbul)   (0) 0 VfL Wolfsburg            (1) 3
 CD Nacional (Funchal)    (0) 2 Werder Bremen            (1) 3
 Celtic (Glasgow)         (0) 0 Hamburger SV             (0) 1
 CSKA Moskva              (0) 2 VfL Wolfsburg            (1) 1
 FK Austria Wien          (0) 2 Werder Bremen            (1) 2
 FK Ventspils             (0) 0 Hertha BSC (Berlin)      (1) 1
 Girondins de Bordeaux    (2) 2 Bayern München           (1) 1
 Hamburger SV             (0) 0 Celtic (Glasgow)         (0) 0
 Hamburger SV             (0) 2 SK Rapid Wien            (0) 0
 Hamburger SV             (3) 4 Hapoel Tel-Aviv          (1) 2
 Hapoel Tel-Aviv          (1) 1 Hamburger SV             (0) 0
 Heerenveen               (2) 2 Hertha BSC (Berlin)      (1) 3
 Hertha BSC (Berlin)      (0) 0 Heerenveen               (1) 1
 Hertha BSC (Berlin)      (0) 1 Sporting CP (Lisboa)     (0) 0
 Hertha BSC (Berlin)      (1) 1 FK Ventspils             (0) 1
 Juventus                 (1) 1 Bayern München           (1) 4
 Maccabi Haifa            (0) 0 Bayern München           (0) 3
 Manchester United        (0) 2 VfL Wolfsburg            (0) 1
 Rangers (Glasgow)        (0) 0 VfB Stuttgart            (1) 2
 Sevilla FC               (1) 1 VfB Stuttgart            (0) 1
 SK Rapid Wien            (2) 3 Hamburger SV             (0) 0
 Sporting CP (Lisboa)     (1) 1 Hertha BSC (Berlin)      (0) 0
 Unirea Urziceni          (0) 1 VfB Stuttgart            (1) 1
 VfB Stuttgart            (0) 1 Sevilla FC               (1) 3
 VfB Stuttgart            (1) 1 Rangers (Glasgow)        (0) 1
 VfB Stuttgart            (3) 3 Unirea Urziceni          (0) 1
 VfL Wolfsburg            (0) 0 Besiktas JK (Istanbul)   (0) 0
 VfL Wolfsburg            (0) 1 Manchester United        (1) 3
 VfL Wolfsburg            (2) 3 CSKA Moskva              (0) 1
 Werder Bremen            (2) 3 Athletic Bilbao          (0) 1
 Werder Bremen            (2) 4 CD Nacional (Funchal)    (0) 1

I think so.  If two compact teams play against one another you would not expect goals.  But if one opens up then even the most defensive of sides is going to be tempted into these spaces, which in turn leaves spaces for the attacking team to strut its stuff, and before you know it you’re in a shoot-out.  I don’t know that there are any more goals in that list than would ordinarily be the case, but there are certainly a good sprinkling of 2,3,4 and 5 goal matches in there.

So is this the biggest danger for us?  That Wolfsburg will open up the game, turn it into an end-to-end affair?  I’m not sure.  Even if this happens, we can count on Fulham not getting carried away.   Now we have Duff in the side I do think we have the attacking prowess to make the most of any gaps Wolfsburg might leave, so you’d back us to score.  Will they be able to do the same?

Wolfsburg have been quite inconsistent in Europe this season, beating CSKA Moscow at home, losing to United at home, and drawing with Besiktas.  Away from home they beat Besktas handily, and lost in Moscow and Manchester.

There’s no pattern there.   As with most games, there are no magical keys (“Stop Grafite!” – well of course you have to stop Grafite!  As you do any centre-forward you come up against), it’ll come down to which playing style can impose itself on the other, which team can come up with a magic moment, which can avoid mistakes.  Like any game really.
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 01:11:18 PM
http://www.sportingpreview.com/aff/bfair/000982.php (http://www.sportingpreview.com/aff/bfair/000982.php)
FULHAM v WOLFSBURG - BETFAIR PREVIEW
Betfair, 1 Apr 2010

Tobias Gourlay previews a Europa League quarter final between two teams who have never reached this level of European competition before.

Fulham move further into unchartered territory on Thursday evening as they contest a first-ever European quarter final, but their opponents, the reigning German champions, are similarly inexperienced and come up against a fine W10-D4-L0 European home record (W6-D1-L0 this season), which includes, of course, a splendid 4-1 win over Juventus a fortnight ago. The Londoners, moreover, are comfortably mid-table in the Premier League and coach Roy Hodgson has said he is now prioritising the Europa League.

After a run of injuries, Fulham are getting close to full strength again. Andy Johnson and John Paintsil are still out with long-term knee problems, but Hodgson has been protecting Bobby Zamora, who has a stomach bug, from the unseasonably weather and is hopeful he will be available for this match to take a place alongside the Cottagers' leading scorer in the competition, Zoltan Gera.
2.34 is a good price for another Fulham home win, but Wolfsburg, who are currently only ninth in the Bundesliga with its second-worst defence, scored in all three of their group-stage away matches in the Champions League and in 2/2 on the road in the Europa League so far. In all competitions, only two of Wolfsburg's 21 previous hosts have kept them out completely. By kick-off, Both Teams to Score, which has happened in 8/10 of Fulham's games in the Europa League proper this season and 4/4 in the knockout stages, should be available at 1.9 or so. Over 2.5 Goals is a 2.06 shot.

Put the two suggestions - Fulham to win, Wolfsburg to score - together and you get an idea about a Correct Score: 2-1 is available at 9.8; 3-1 is [22]. One small note of caution about all of this though: after several months away, Wolfsburg's first-choice goalkeeper, Diego Benaglio, returned to action at the weekend and they kept a clean sheet in a 2-0 win at Mainz.

Die Wolfe's top-scorer in Europe is Grafite, who has six Champions League and Europa League goals this season. His Bosnian strike partner, Edin Dzeko, who has five, scored at Old Trafford earlier this season and has found the back of the net in all three European games he's played against English opposition, but the most recent German press reports reveal he hasn't trained since Monday and faces a late fitness test. If he plays, six goals in his last four Bundesliga games suggest he might be the best bet to score in this match.

Recommended Bets: Back Fulham at 2.32 to win; back Both Teams to Score at 1.9
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 04:06:50 PM
http://www.sportinglife.com/football/overseas/germany/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=soccer/10/03/31/SOCCER_Wolfsburg_Nightlead.html&TEAMHD=germany (http://www.sportinglife.com/football/overseas/germany/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=soccer/10/03/31/SOCCER_Wolfsburg_Nightlead.html&TEAMHD=germany)
KOSTNER CALLS FOR 'EXCEPTIONAL' DISPLAY
 
By Alex Lowe, Press Association Sport

Wolfsburg manager Lorenz-Gunther Kostner told the German champions they will need to produce something "exceptional" to beat Fulham in Thursday night's Europa League quarter-final first leg.

Fulham have already knocked out the defending champions Shakhtar Donetsk and they reached the last eight with a stunning victory over Juventus.

The Italian giants led 4-1 on aggregate early in the second leg before Roy Hodgson's side staged a remarkable comeback to win 5-4 and book a showdown with Wolfsburg.

Kostner said: "We need to come up with some extraordinary performances tomorrow.

"Roy Hodgson is such an experienced manager who had huge success with teams abroad.

"Here at Fulham he has built up a team that not only plays very good football but is also really tight and when they are at their best they are capable of beating any opponent."

Fulham have stuttered since their dramatic victory over Juventus, losing three times on the bounce, but they are unbeaten at home in Europe and this tournament is now their priority.

Kostner said: "The Juventus game was not a one-off. They have played Roma (drawing 1-1 at Craven Cottage) and other big teams," he said.

"When you look at Fulham as a club you have to respect them."

Wolfsburg were in Manchester United's Champions League group before dropping into the Europa League, where they have beaten Villarreal and Rubin Kazan to book a showdown with Fulham.

Wolfsburg midfielder Christian Gentner is a fan of the Premier League and knows just what to expect under the lights at a sold out Craven Cottage.

"It is going to be a very tough game against Fulham," he said.

"Everybody expected Juventus to go through and so to turn the game around and come out on top shows their mental strength and that is something we need to be aware of tomorrow.

"Fulham will be very aggressive and attacking. They are at home and with the crows they will have the upper hand.

"The Premier League is the strongest league in the world and I enjoy watching it in my own time. The atmosphere is usually very good.

"We tasted that in Manchester a little bit but with this being a smaller ground I think we will taste the atmosphere more tomorrow night."

Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 04:09:04 PM
http://www.sportingpreview.com/team_news/09100540.php (http://www.sportingpreview.com/team_news/09100540.php)
FULHAM v WOLFSBURG
EARLY TEAM NEWS

SportingPreview.com, 1 Apr 2010

Bobby Zamora was sent home from Fulham training on Wednesday with a cold and could miss tonight's Europa League quarter-final first-leg clash against Wolfsburg.

Manager Roy Hodgson is hopeful that the 29-year-old will be fit to face the German champions at Craven Cottage but there is no guarantee at this stage.

Danny Murphy, Damien Duff, Aaron Hughes and Dickson Etuhu should return to the starting eleven after they were rested for the defeat by Hull at the weekend, along with Zamora.

Skipper Murphy missed both legs of the epic win over Juventus in the previous round through suspension.

Fulham Squad: Schwarzer, Konchesky, Baird, Riise, Hughes, Smalling, Etuhu, Duff, Murphy, Gera, Davies, Zamora, Dempsey, Zuberbuhler, Greening, Kelly, Hangeland, Stoor, Nevland.
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 04:10:26 PM
http://www.eatsleepsport.com/fulham/hodgson-sweats-on-striker-1045493.html (http://www.eatsleepsport.com/fulham/hodgson-sweats-on-striker-1045493.html)
Hodgson sweats on striker
Last Updated: Thu, 01 Apr 2010 15:37

Roy Hodgson is confident Bobby Zamora will shake off the effects of a cold ahead of Fulham's Europa League clash with Wolfsburg.

The Cottagers top scorer missed the 2-0 defeat to Hull with the virus and had to be sent home from training on Wednesday because of the cold in a bid to get him fit for the quarter-final match.

Hodgson says the Fulham medical staff are confident Zamora will be fit to face Wolfsburg this week as the west London club look to continue their European adventure.

"We sent him home in the hope that he'll be fully fit. The medical department are very confident. It was a precaution more than anything else. I'd be very surprised if he doesn't make it, though the risk exists because he didn't train," said Hodgson.

Fulham will definitely be without Nickey Shorey and Stefano Okaka for the clash as both are cup tied but Danny Murphy is available again having missed the game against Juventus through suspension.
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 04:11:57 PM
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11681_6069157,00.html (http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11681_6069157,00.html)
Sullivan confirms Fulham complaint
Hammers to ask Premier League to investigate Fulham

West Ham co-owner David Sullivan has confirmed to Sky Sports News that the club will make a formal complaint to the Premier League over Fulham's team selection against Hull City last weekend.

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson made six changes from the side that started against Tottenham in the FA Cup and Sullivan confirmed to Sky Sports News'chief news reporter Bryan Swanson that the club will ask the Premier League to investigate comments made by Hodgson after the match.

Hodgson admitted he rested some of his key players at the KC Stadium ahead of their Europa League match against Wolfsburg.

The Tigers secured a 2-0 win at the KC Stadium to move level on points with West Ham, with a game in hand, in the battle to avoid relegation.

Sullivan says a complaint will be made to the Premier League, via the club's solicitors, on Friday.

Fulham boss Hodgson has defended his decision to rest players and was unfazed by talk that the club could find itself in trouble with the Premier League over his line-up
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)
Post by: whitejc on April 01, 2010, 04:14:58 PM
http://www.goal.com/en/news/1863/world-cup-2010/2010/04/01/1859181/world-cup-2010-australia-are-underdogs-but-quietly-confident (http://www.goal.com/en/news/1863/world-cup-2010/2010/04/01/1859181/world-cup-2010-australia-are-underdogs-but-quietly-confident)
World Cup 2010: Australia Are Underdogs, But Quietly Confident - Mark Schwarzer
The experienced shot stopper has made it clear that the Socceroos are quietly confident ahead of the 2010 World Cup...
By Stefan Coerts
Apr 1, 2010 3:39:00 PM


Australia qualified for the 2010 World Cup without any noteworthy problems only to be paired with Germany, Serbia and Ghana in one of the most difficult groups of this summer's tournament. Nevertheless, experienced shot stopper Mark Schwarzer is quietly confident that the Socceroos can cause an upset.

"If you look at our group it is very, very tough. The group has similarities to that we had in Germany. We are going in again as underdogs, but the difference now is that we are not the unknown quantity we were last time," Schwarzer was quoted as saying on the official FIFA website.

"I’m quietly confident we will go to the World Cup in the best possible shape and condition and hopefully give it a real shake like we did last time. Nothing beats playing in a World Cup as you are representing your country, you’re playing on the biggest stage on the planet and there are hundreds of millions of people watching around the world.

"We definitely have more experience than four years ago and statistically experience helps you more so than anything else. This time around we also have a larger pool of players to call on. Hopefully that will keep us in very good stead throughout the World Cup."