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Thursday Fulham Stuff (01/04/10)

Started by WhiteJC, April 01, 2010, 07:43:26 AM

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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."


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.

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.

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

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."