Author Topic: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)  (Read 7542 times)

White Noise

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #20 on: April 29, 2010, 10:25:43 AM »
Heads Up

 
Thursday 29th April 2010


Fulham FC News


Roadworks on the A3 heading into London (eastbound direction) between Robin Hood and Shannon Corner are currently causing severe delays for commuters travelling into London.

Supporters making their way to the Cottage by car for tonight's Europa League Semi Final are advised to allow plenty of time to travel into West London and check travel routes before departing for SW6.


Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/April/EuropaTrafficDelays.aspx#ixzz0mTngTu8z

White Noise

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #21 on: April 29, 2010, 10:45:07 AM »
http://football.fanhouse.co.uk/2010/04/28/fulham-v-hamburg-preview-roy-hodgsons-team-on-brink-of-greatne/

Fulham v Hamburg Preview: Roy Hodgson's Sweating on Zamora Fitness

28/4/2010 9:20 AM GMT By Ian Winrow


EUROPA LEAGUE: CRAVEN COTTAGE, THURSDAY APRIL 29, 2010. KICK-OFF: 2005 BST


FULHAM:
Fulham face a nervous 24 hours ahead of their Europa League semi-final second leg with Hamburg after the club's manager Roy Hodgson confirmed he is concerned about Bobby Zamora's fitness.

The Fulham striker has been instrumental in helping Fulham reach the latter stages of the competition but has picked up an Achilles injury that will be monitored. Hodgson told a news conference: "Bobby is much improved, and has done some work today with the physios, but we chose for him not to take part in the light training session.

"We just have to wait until tomorrow to have a 100% decision on whether or not he can play. Obviously we are concerned about the situation, because if he was fully fit, he would have been training for the last couple of days.

"He will have treatment again tomorrow, then go in front of our medical people, and I think by lunchtime I should know whether or not he has a chance of playing.

"It will be about their assessment, Bobby's own assessment, how he feels, how he thinks it will go - because knowing him as well as I do, he will not want to let the team down.

"He wants to play, but he wants to play as a fit player rather than play and in any way hamper our chances of doing well."

The finishing line is now in sight for Fulham's weary players as they look for a last surge of energy to get them over the line and into the Europa League Final.

Hodgson has done a sterling job to get the Cottagers this far, especially considering the quality of the opposition they have faced along the way. The likes of Roma, Shakhtar Donetsk and Juventus have fallen by the sword, and now Hamburg could be next in line.

After an important 0-0 draw in Germany last week, especially with Fulham's players forced to make the long trip by road due to the cancellation of flights following the volcanic eruption in Iceland, defender Paul Konchesky is ready to capitalise on the club's home advantage in the second-leg.

"We've had a week to prepare for Thursday's match and we're over last week's trip to get to Hamburg," he told the club's official website. "We got the result we wanted in Hamburg and hopefully we can get an early goal on Thursday night at the Cottage.

"We just need to concentrate on what we're good at on Thursday night. We've got a great chance and we're playing at home.

"We don't want people to think it's going to be like the Juventus game. They've [Hamburg] got two attacking forwards who are always a threat and can score goals. We've got a great opportunity. If we can play how we've been playing and start well, get the fans behind us, and kick on, hopefully we can push the Europa League right to the end. Just to get to the Final of the Europa League would be a phenomenal achievement."

Strategy: Fulham's main strength in Europe this season can be pinpointed to two areas. Firstly, they have an excellent goalkeeper in Mark Schwarzer, who was unlucky not to be selected in the Professional Footballers' Association Team of the Year. Then there is the partnership of Zamora and Zoltan Gera. Zamora has received the plaudits, and rightly so, for his goalscoring this season. However, Gera also deserves some of the praise. The attacker benefits from the extra space and time on the ball that playing against continental teams allows him. The statistics show that between them, Zamora and Gera have been involved in all but two of Fulham's 15 Europa League goals since the start of December. Hodgson will no doubt be looking to extend that record on Thursday evening.

Injury Update: Zamora is a doubt with his Achilles but Clint Dempsey has recovered from a thigh strain. Chris Baird is suspended and likely to be replaced by John Pantsil. Andy Johnson is the only long-term injury concern with his knee problem.

HAMBURG:
The German side have made a huge change ahead of this fixture by sacking manager Bruno Labbadia. The 44-year-old was dismissed for the club's poor league form this season -- his last match in charge was a 5-1 defeat by Hoffenheim. Labbadia will be replaced by Ricardo Moniz, a former coach at Tottenham.

White Noise

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #22 on: April 29, 2010, 10:47:04 AM »
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/europe/8649420.stm

Fulham    v    Hamburg (agg 0 - 0)

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Europa League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Fulham v  Hamburg 20:05
(agg 0-0)
   


Venue: Craven Cottage Date: Thursday 29 April Kick-off: 2005 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and online, with text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobiles. Also live on ITV4

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Fulham striker Bobby Zamora is rated as a "major doubt" for Thursday's Europa League semi-final second leg against Hamburg because of an Achilles injury.

The 29-year-old will undergo a late fitness test on the problem, sustained in the first leg goalless draw.

But boss Roy Hodgson is preparing for the worst after Zamora, who missed the weekend Premier League defeat at Everton, sat out training on Wednesday.

Clint Dempsey, himself just back from injury, could deputise.

The American forward replaced Zamora in the first-leg draw in Germany, though he resorted to midfield at Goodison Park on Sunday behind Erik Nevland and Stefano Okaka who were paired in attack.

"Bobby is having treatment and I'm hoping he'll be ready for Thursday, but I'm not confident," Hodgson told the club's website.

The better news for Hodgson is that his decision to rest a number of first-teamers against Everton should ensure his side is fresh for the visit of Hamburg.

Paul Konchesky, Aaron Hughes, Danny Murphy, Brede Hangeland, Dickson Etuhu, Damien Duff, Zoltan Gera and Simon Davies were all fit but left out of the matchday squad and should return on Thursday.

Chris Baird, however, is suspended, so John Pantsil is set to come into the side after a knee problem, while Okaka and Nicky Shorey are ineligible.

Fulham are on the brink of reaching their first European final, and face a Hamburg side that fired coach Bruno Labbadia on Monday after a 5-1 Bundesliga loss at Hoffenheim the day before.

That defeat came on the back of a run that had seen Hamburg secure just four wins in 14 matches and, as a result, assistant coach Ricardo Moniz has been put in temporary charge.

Moniz himself has injury worries of his own with striker Tunay Torun ruled out of the match with a ligament injury.

However, Hodgson is steeling his team for a tough task, saying: "When you reach a game of this level, with the experience and quality of the Hamburg players, they will be capable of producing a very good performance, whomever the manager may be.

"They have played many, many games together, the assistant has stepped in, so there will not be any vast change of philosophy.

"I am expecting the same type of Hamburg we faced a week ago."

And the 62-year-old has described his team's run in the competition and as "an outstanding achievement".

The Cottagers' European adventure has taken them from a third qualifying-round tie against FK Vetra of Lithuania, through the group stages against Roma to superb performances against favourites Shakhtar Donetsk and Italian giants Juventus.

Hodgson has also managed to keep Fulham on track in the Premier League, currently safe in 12th place, and the manager admitted: "For a club like ours, in terms of squad size, there was concern we would not be able to compete on both fronts.

"I am really delighted we have been able to prove people wrong and in the bargain have beaten some very good teams along the way to this semi-final.

"It is an outstanding achievement, and I take a lot of pride in that.

"But we are all determined not to fail at this stage and to take the ultimate step to the final, rather than go out as gallant losers."



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fulham (from): Schwarzer, Konchesky, Hangeland, Pantsil, Hughes, Etuhu, Duff, Murphy, Gera, Davies, Zamora, Dempsey, Zuberbuhler, Nevland, Greening, Dikgacoi, Smalling, Kelly, Elm.


White Noise

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #23 on: April 29, 2010, 10:48:05 AM »
http://www.football.virginmedia.com/page/Football/Championship/Headlines/0,,12555~2037661,00.html


Stockdale back at Craven Cottage


 28 Apr 2010


Plymouth head coach Paul Mariner has confirmed that Fulham goalkeeper David Stockdale has returned to the Premier League club at the end of his successful loan spell with the Pilgrims.

The 24-year-old's loan, which started in January, came to a conclusion following Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest. Stockdale made 21 appearances for the Pilgrims. Romain Larrieu is set to return in goal for Sunday's home game against relegated basement side Peterborough.

Mariner confirmed: "David has gone back. We didn't play Romain in the reserves game at Reading on Monday. We didn't want to risk him, because we need him for Sunday."

White Noise

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #24 on: April 29, 2010, 10:49:48 AM »
http://www.cottagersconfidential.com/2010/4/28/1448683/my-5-keys-to-victory-for-fulham-in


My 5 Keys to Victory for Fulham in the Europa League Against Hamburg - Match Preview of the second leg

by Russ Goldman on Apr 28, 2010 4:14 PM BST  0 comments



Fulham play tomorrow against Hamburg at Craven Cottage.  This is the second leg of the semifinals in the Europa League. The game takes place at 8:05PM UK Time and 3:05PM EST. The game will be shown on DirecTv live and on taped delay on GolTV at 8PM EST In the United States. You can also go online to UEFA.com to get an online pay option for a live stream of the match. 

This match is the biggest game in Fulham history in my opinion. The Cottagers are one game away from a final in a  European Competition. Who would have ever predicted this scenario back in July when Fulham began their European adventure?

In the first leg the score line was 0 - 0. Fulham did not get the away goal I had hoped. They need to win at Craven Cottage to advance. There are some factors now involved in the second leg.  Fulham will not have Chris Baird available for this match, because of the yellow card he picked up in the first leg. Hamburg will also be without Piotr Trochowski for the same reason. Hamburg also sacked their manager Bruno Labbadia after Hoffenheim beat his club 5 - 1. I will be curious to see how these factors effect the match.  Below are"my 5 keys to victory for Fulham in the Europa League against Hamburg."

1. Fulham need to get Bobby Zamora involved right away.   I think it is very important to be aggressive in this match.  When Bobby Zamora is involved in the match it just sets up goal opportunities for the club. He was instrumental in scoring an early goal in Wolfsburg. Fulham were able to really control the rest of that match. I think it is important If Bobby can create a goal himself or for another teammate early in this match.

2. Fuham need to contain both strikers for Hamburg.  Ruud van Nistelrooy had some scoring chances against Fulham. He has scored 9 goals in 11 matches against Fulham. He is by far not the only threat. Mladen Petric came in late in the match and was very active against Fulham. He had some scoring chances of his own. It is imperative that Fulham's back four put the clamps on these two players. 

3.  Danny Murphy needs to control the midfield.  This was a key of mine in the first leg. Fulham really can get control of this match if Danny Murphy can get some great passes up to the strikers tomorrow. He also has the ability to control the pace of the match, if Fulham can control more possession tomorrow. 

4. Mark Schwarzer needs to be almost perfect tomorrow.  Mark Schwarzer was huge in the first leg. In my opinion, he is a good part of the reason the game ended 0 - 0. If he can come up with a clean sheet I think Fulham have a great chance of advancing. I don't think Fulham can afford to give up more than one goal. That is why I stated Schwarzer needs to be almost perfect.

5. The Fulham fans can be a huge factor tomorrow.  Fulham are extremely hard to beat at home. At Craven Cottage the fans are very close to the action on the pitch. It can really help galvanize the club with positive emotion tomorrow. I think the club can really feed off of this encouragement. The fans can also make it difficult for Hamburg with their excitement and noise in this match. I think Craven Cottage could be electric tomorrow. I do think the fans can make a difference. 

The opportunity tomorrow is incredible for Fulham. They have a chance at history. These opportunities don't come along all the time. No matter what happens tomorrow, Fulham have shown the soccer world that they can play well in European competitions.

White Noise

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #25 on: April 29, 2010, 10:50:51 AM »
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11661_6121567,00.html

Stoor planning Fulham exit


Swede keen to secure first-team football elsewhere


By Kent Hedlundh   Last updated: 28th April 2010   
 

Fulham full-back Fredrik Stoor has confirmed his desire to secure first-team football away from Craven Cottage next season.

The Swedish defender has failed to break into Roy Hodgson's side this term and spent time on loan with Derby County in order to boost match sharpness.

Panionios have been linked with a move for the 26-year-old and he has welcomed the interest from the Greek club.

Stoor is keen to join a club who believes in his ability and admits it is too soon to return to Scandinavia just yet.

Interest

"I know that some Greek clubs are interested," he told Sportbladet.

"I have talked to Roy Hodgson and my agent will continue the talks with other clubs.

"My ambition is to play outside Scandinavia for a club which has confidence in me."



White Noise

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #26 on: April 29, 2010, 10:52:00 AM »
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11095_6121558,00.html

No Euro fear factor for Murphy


Skipper believes final would be 'one of the greatest achievements'


Last updated: 28th April 2010   
 
Fulham captain Danny Murphy does not think that he and his team-mates have anything to fear ahead of their Europa League semi-final second leg against Hamburg.

The Cottagers have enjoyed a memorable campaign on the continent and have eliminated holders Shakhtar Donetsk, Italian giants Juventus and last season's German champions Wolfsburg.

Fulham hold a slender advantage ahead of Thursday's return meeting with Hamburg at Craven Cottage after a 0-0 draw in Germany last week and Murphy, a Uefa Cup winner with Liverpool, is in a confident mood.

"Sometimes it is easier to judge the achievements of a club after the event, so maybe when the season is over we will look back and see how well we have done, but the players are becoming a lot more aware that this is a special adventure," the 33-year-old said.

"Of course what would make it even more special would be getting to the final, which we know is going to be difficult.

"But to overcome the challenges we have faced in terms of the quality of the teams we have faced, injuries, suspensions, it is hard to put into words what we have achieved.

Expectation

"Certainly it has been a wonderful effort so far and it is not over.

"We are playing at Craven Cottage where we have beaten some of the best teams in Europe, so we have got nothing to fear."

Murphy added: "It has been especially pleasing because the squad has been utilised well and everyone has had a taste of it.

"We have been to some fantastic places, starting in July in Vetra on a kind of non-league ground, to places like Shakhtar and Hamburg."

Murphy accepts what Fulham have achieved this season is different to the expectations faced by his former club Liverpool, who are also bidding to reach the Europa League final ahead of their semi-final second leg against Atletico Madrid.

"With Liverpool, the expectation is always there, which we have seen for many years and even this year," said Murphy.

"We are talking about reaching a final which would be one of the greatest achievements of our history, whereas at Liverpool they are talking about reaching the same final as a consolation. That puts it into perspective a little bit."

White Noise

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #27 on: April 29, 2010, 10:53:39 AM »
http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/matches/season=2010/round=2000041/match=2000963/prematch/focus/index.html?rss=1475147+Murphy+gives+Moniz+glowing+reference

Murphy gives Moniz glowing reference

Published: Wednesday 28 April 2010, 18.05CET


Ricardo Moniz was only appointed as Hamburger SV caretaker coach on Monday but Fulham FC's Danny Murphy has been able to provide the inside track ahead of Thursday's second leg.

While Ricardo Moniz may have been an unfamiliar name to many until a few days ago, Danny Murphy is well aware of the Hamburger SV caretaker coach's capabilities as he prepares to lead out Fulham FC for the conclusion of the UEFA Europa League semi-final.

Previously a skills coach at HSV alongside Martin Jol and then Bruno Labbadia, Moniz was thrust into the limelight on Monday when he was named as the latter's temporary successor. Murphy worked with the Dutchman prior to joining Fulham in August 2007 from Tottenham Hotspur FC – where Moniz once again assisted Jol, then the London club's manager – and gave the 45-year-old a glowing character reference.

"He was a good coach and someone I worked a lot with at Tottenham; the lads liked him a lot," said the Fulham captain. "It's different being a manager even if it's only for a short space of time but I'd be surprised if the players don't have a good relationship with him because that's the type of guy he is. I wouldn't have a clue what he might be thinking but I'd be amazed if he's anything other than attack-minded because that's the way he is."

With the tie delicately poised at 0-0, the Cottagers are tantalisingly close to their first European final, an achievement which Murphy admits was far from their minds at the beginning of the season. "If you looked in a betting shop at the beginning of the Europa League campaign we'd have been nowhere near," added the midfielder.

"If I'm honest, I think people within the club thought 'If we can get through the group stage we've done well'. That's because we're realists; mixing the Europa League with the Premier League was always going to be difficult. As we progressed it became more evident that we had a great chance of doing well."

Should the west London club reach next month's showpiece in Hamburg, Murphy will have the chance to add to the UEFA Cup winners' medal he received in 2001, when Liverpool FC defeated Deportivo Alavés 5-4 after extra time. Now 33, Fulham's run to the last four has come just in time for Murphy.

"You're appreciative of it more, for sure," he said. "At Liverpool you assume each year there's going to be a final but as you get older you realise that's not the case. You have to enjoy these trips and each time we've gone away I've tried to enjoy the experience, not knowing if it was going to be my last adventure in Europe."

White Noise

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #28 on: April 29, 2010, 10:57:29 AM »
http://soccernet.espn.go.com/preview?id=290755&cc=5739

Zamora doubtful for Fulham

Competition Stats 
   Fulham  Hamburg SV 
Goals  Bobby Zamora 3  Marcus Berg 4 
Reds  Danny Murphy 1  Guy Demel 1 
Yellows  Jonathan Greening 5  David Jarolim 3 
·   Club Squads : Fulham | Hamburg SV 


Last Five Matches in Competition 
Fulham  Hamburg SV 
A: Hamburg SV 0-0  H: Fulham 0-0 
A: VfL Wolfsburg 0-1  A: Standard Liege 1-3 
H: VfL Wolfsburg 2-1  H: Standard Liege 2-1 
H: Juventus 4-1  A: Anderlecht 4-3 
A: Juventus 3-1  H: Anderlecht 3-1 
· Club Results: Fulham | Hamburg SV 

Next Five Matches in Competition 
Fulham  Hamburg SV 
29/4  H: Hamburg SV  29/4  A: Fulham 
· Club Fixtures: Fulham | Hamburg SV 
Updated: April 28, 2010, 7:23 PM UK

Fulham will give striker Bobby Zamora a late fitness test on his Achilles problem ahead of the Europa League semi-final second leg against Hamburg at Craven Cottage.
The 29-year-old sustained the injury in last week's first leg in Germany, which ended goalless.

Right-back Chris Baird is suspended, so John Pantsil, fit again following a knee problem, is set to come into the side.

Manager Roy Hodgson reported no fresh injury problems, having rested some nine players for the Barclays Premier League trip to Everton.

Stefano Okaka and Nicky Shorey are both ineligible.

Hamburg's preparations have been disrupted by the decision to axe manager Bruno Labbadia after less than 10 months at the helm with his side languishing in seventh in the Bundesliga table.

Ricardo Moniz, who had a spell working at Tottenham as part of Martin Jol's coaching team, has stepped in to take charge until the end of the season.

With the Germans having set their sights on a place in the Europa League final at their home ground next month, and with the likes of former Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy in the team, Hodgson does not expect the change in head coach will have a major impact.

"When you reach a game of this level, with the experience and quality of the Hamburg players, they will be capable of producing a very good performance, whomever the manager may be,'' said the Fulham boss.

"They have played many, many games together, the assistant has stepped in, so there will not be any vast change of philosophy.

"I am expecting the same type of Hamburg we faced a week ago.''

Fulham's European adventure has taken them from a third qualifying-round tie back in July against FK Vetra of Lithuania, through the group stages against Roma to superb performances which knocked out favourites Shakhtar Donetsk and then Italian giants Juventus.

Hodgson has also managed to keep Fulham on track in the Premier League, currently safe in 12th place - a remarkable achievement given the relative resources of the Craven Cottage club.

"Maintaining our momentum in the Premier League was our main concern about playing in this competition, now we are up to something like 58 games already,'' he said.

"For a club like ours, in terms of squad size, there was concern we would not be able to compete on both fronts.

"I am really delighted we have been able to prove people wrong and in the bargain have beaten some very good teams along the way to this semi-final.''

Hodgson added: "It is an outstanding achievement, and I take a lot of pride in that.

"But we are all determined not to fail at this stage and to take the ultimate step to the final, rather than go out as gallant losers.''

Moniz is hoping for a welcome return to Craven Cottage, having been in the dugout when Spurs recorded a 4-0 FA Cup win during February 2007.

`I spoke about it when we drove here, I lived in another part of London, but it is familiar,'' said the Dutchman.

"We played here a few times and the last game we played here was a positive result for Spurs, so it's a nice feeling for me.''

Having spent most of his career working as a specialist skills coach, tomorrow night will represent a first match in sole managerial control for the former Holland international, with the tie delicately poised following a goalless first leg in Germany.

"There is no fear,'' Moniz said. "I am only happy and just look where I can help - I have to be objective, I have to be neutral.

"It is a great experience for me, I can't deny that.

"The players know me and I'm looking forward to it.''

Moniz added: "The coach was sacked, it was a tragedy, but you can only be who you are.

"It was dramatic, but the next day you have to prepare yourself for a situation that will be unique for us.

"My only task is to give each player the confidence and be their strength."


White Noise

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #29 on: April 29, 2010, 10:58:59 AM »
http://www.sport.co.uk/news/Football/37555/EPL_clubs_confirmed_in_battle_for_colossal_striker.aspx


EPL clubs confirmed in battle for colossal striker

Author:  Nigel Brown


Posted on:29 April 2010 - 09:44

Blackburn Rovers, Stoke City, Sunderland and Fulham are set for a four-way battle for the signature of giant Valencia striker Nikola Zigic according to reports in the player’s homeland and in the Spanish media. Everton manager David Moyes is also reportedly interested in the striker and even tracked the player during the January transfer window.

The massive 6ft 8in forward is a Serbia international and has been linked with a move to the Premier League for a number of years. The Potters, Black Cats, and the Riversiders all enquiried about the availability of the big hit man last summer, but Valencia were unwilling to allow the Serbian international to leave the club.

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson has also entered the race as he looks to prioritise signing a new forward this summer to provide competition for Bobby Zamora and injury prone Andy Johnson. Everton manager David Moyes is also a confirmed admirer of Zigic, after monitoring the player in January, however it is unknown whether Moyes will make a concrete offer for the player.

Zigic, has already expressed his delight at the Premier League interest, and has rejected a move to Turkish giants Galatasaray. He said:

“I don't know the plans of my club, but my desire is to go to England. I'm still a Valencia player, but I have to think about my future.

“My contract is for two more years and now the most important thing for me is that the team ensures it will be playing in the Champions League next season and I'm confident we'll succeed.

 “All my plans at this time are related to Valencia, but there is interest from other big European clubs. Now I must achieve our goals for Valencia and then give my full commitment to the national team.”

Zigic signed for Valencia in 2007 but failed to maker an impact and was loaned out Racing Santander in 2009 where the player netted 13 times. The Serbian international has 42 caps for his country.

White Noise

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #30 on: April 29, 2010, 11:00:13 AM »
http://www.skysports.com/football/match_preview/0,19764,11065_3268731,00.html

Fulham v Hamburg preview


Cottagers face German opposition for a place in Euro final


Last updated: 29th April 2010   
 
Fulham stand on the brink of glory as they prepare for their Europa League semi-final second leg with Hamburg.

The Cottagers will fancy that they are now favourites to reach the final following a goalless draw in the first meeting but know there is little margin for error.

An away goal for the visitors would leave them with a mountain to climb, but then Roy Hodgson's side have enjoyed a fairytale existence in continental competition this season.

Their record on home soil in the Europa League this year has been formidable and they will be hoping the compact surrounds of Craven Cottage play into their hands once again.

Reaching the final would be a remarkable achievement for a club who sent the likes of Shakhtar Donetsk, Juventus and Werder Bremen packing this season.

Hamburg, though, should not be underestimated, even if they do appear to be a club in turmoil.

A shocking 5-1 defeat to Hoffenheim on Sunday saw manager Bruno Labbadia relieved of his duties, with just three wins taken from their last 14 domestic fixtures.

They are now sweating on their chances of securing European qualification for next season, having slipped to seventh in the Bundesliga standings.

Hamburg, though, have the added motivation of knowing that this season's Europa League final will be staged at their Nordbank Arena home and they will be desperate to figure in the end of season showpiece on 12th May.

Zamora doubt


Fulham could be without talismanic striker Bobby Zamora for the crunch clash as the 29-year-old is nursing an Achilles problem.

Hodgson is desperate to have the 19-goal frontman in his side but insists he will not gamble on the fitness of the England hopeful.

Zamora has not trained with the rest of the squad since hobbling off against Everton at the weekend, a game in which Fulham made nine changes to their starting XI in an effort to rest their battle-weary troops.

The only other concern for the Cottagers is the absence of Chris Baird through suspension, but the fit again John Pantsil will slot in seamlessly at right-back.


Aogo struggling


Hamburg caretaker coach Ricardo Moniz also has to contend with a defensive dilemma on Thursday.

The versatile Dennis Aogo has been unable to travel to England after picking up a virus; although the Germans do have a plane on standby should the 23-year-old recover in time.

Piotr Trochowski will also be missing, with the experienced midfielder due to serve a ban.

Turkish forward Tuncay Torun is another to sit out the trip to Craven Cottage as he damaged his knee during training last week.

White Noise

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #31 on: April 29, 2010, 11:01:03 AM »
Semi Final Programme Offer

Thursday 29th April 2010


Fulham FC News


To mark the biggest game ever to be staged at Craven Cottage, we’re offering a very special deal on UEFA Europa League matchday programmes.

The first 100 customers to buy the celebratory A4 semi-hardback semi-final programme from sellers outside the stadium will be offered the opportunity to purchase the collector’s editions from either of the memorable victories over Juventus or Wolfsburg for just an extra £1.50.

That’s two of the most significant mementos from our Europa League adventure for a total of just £5.

So be sure to arrive early so as not to miss out on this fantastic opportunity.


Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/April/SemiFinalProgrammeOffer.aspx#ixzz0mTwdvKTi


White Noise

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #32 on: April 29, 2010, 11:51:09 AM »
http://www.espn.co.uk/football/sport/story/20003.html?CMP=OTC-RSS

Fulham v Hamburg

Fulham's journey to the last four has been fairytale stuff. Defending champions Shakhtar Donetsk were dethroned, Italian giants Juventus stripped bare, while German champions Wolfsburg were beaten home and away.

Key to those triumphs was 19-goal Bobby Zamora, who scored four times over those three ties, yet he stands a very real chance of missing one of the biggest games in Fulham's history. Zamora will not have trained with the rest of Roy Hodgson's squad by the time they arrive at Craven Cottage, and a serious Achilles problem threatens to rob the Londoners of their focal point.

"Bobby is much improved and has done some work with the physios, but we chose for him not to take part in the light training session we had," said Hodgson. "We just have to wait until we have a 100% decision on whether or not he can play.

"Obviously we are concerned about the situation, because if he was fully fit, he would have been training for the last couple of days. He will have treatment again tomorrow, then go in front of our medical people, and I think by lunchtime I should know whether or not he has a chance of playing.

"It will be about their assessment, Bobby's own assessment, how he feels, how he thinks it will go - because knowing him as well as I do, he will not want to let the team down. He wants to play, but he wants to play as a fit player rather than play and in any way hamper our chances of doing well."

Fulham will definitely be without the suspended Chris Baird, who has been inspirational at times during this campaign, while Roma loanee Stefano Okaka is not eligible should Hodgson need a replacement for Zamora. Nicky Shorey is also unavailable.

Hamburg arrive in disarray off the back of two consecutive defeats in the Bundesliga, which brought about the removal of coach Bruno Labbadia. Former Tottenham coach Ricardo Moniz steps in as replacement, and he will hope to have the galvanising effect that a new manager often brings as the Germans attempt to book a Europa League final at their home ground.

Fulham scored at least twice at home to Shakhtar, Juventus and Wolfsburg. With Clint Dempsey likely to be employed in a more advanced role should Zamora miss out, back the American to score first in a 2-0 victory at 38/1 with Stan James.

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #33 on: April 29, 2010, 12:10:51 PM »
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11681_6122677,00.html

Hodgson - Zamora so important


Cottagers hoping star striker will be fit for crunch Euro clash


By Chris Burton   


Last updated: 29th April 2010   

Roy Hodgson feels Bobby Zamora is as important to Fulham as Wayne Rooney is to Manchester United.

The Cottagers have often looked to their talismanic frontman to lead by example this season, and he has not disappointed.

A 19-goal return has helped to fire Zamora into England reckoning and made him the heartbeat of Hodgson's attacking unit.

He could, however, be forced to sit out Fulham's biggest game of the season so far - Thursday's Europa League semi-final second leg against Hamburg.

Hodgson insists he will not gamble on Zamora's fitness, as he nurses an Achilles problem, but admits the 29-year-old will be a big miss should he fail to shake off the knock in time to feature at Craven Cottage.

"When Wayne Rooney doesn't play for Manchester United, when Steven Gerrard doesn't play for Liverpool, Didier Drogba doesn't play for Chelsea, or when Robin van Persie is out for a long time at the Arsenal, all the headlines are about these people - and those clubs have got riches galore if you compare to us," Hodgson said.

"I can't say that it doesn't matter, that players of Zamora's quality and his importance to the team this year, don't matter, because that would be under-valuing the contributions he has made, which have been a fantastic contribution.

Influence
"If this does not work out, he certainly will be absolutely devastated, to have been a major influence in us getting so far, and then not be able to take part in the final stage."

Hodgson added: "We will be happy if Bobby can play, but if he can't we will accept that as part and parcel of football, injuries occur.

"We know we have other players in the team who can keep our play going as we saw at Everton on Sunday."

Hodgson has revealed that Zamora may eventually require surgery in an effort to rid himself of the niggling problem, with Fulham keen to have the issue resolved before the 2010/11 campaign gets underway.

"I would think if it does not clear up in the coming days, then the chances are we would choose to have a minor operation to clear up the area, around the tendon, which would help him next season," said the Fulham boss.

"It will clear up anyway, when you are not out running every day, things do get better - but unless you get to the root of the problem, there is always the risk that, when you start again, sooner or later, the problem is going to make itself known."

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #34 on: April 29, 2010, 12:16:09 PM »
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/european_football/article7110571.ece

Roy Hodgson waiting on fitness of Bobby Zamora

Tom Dart


 

Fulham would not be on the brink of the Europa League final without Bobby Zamora’s goals, but they may have to enter their most prestigious match since the 1975 FA Cup Final without him.

At midday today, some eight hours before kick-off, Fulham will decide whether the striker is fit to face Hamburg. If not, they can only hope that his Achilles tendon does not prove the team’s Achilles’ heel.

While collective endeavour is the cornerstone of Fulham’s progress, Zamora’s impact has been essential. Eight of his 19 goals this season have come in the Europa League. His contribution cannot be measured in goals alone. Zamora has added inspiration to the team’s perspiration and strutted with a self-belief that has helped his team-mates to segue smoothly from outsiders to contenders. Now he could resemble a pacemaker who drops out on the penultimate lap.

“I can’t say that it doesn’t matter, that players of Zamora’s quality and his importance to the team this year don’t matter and that we’ve got plenty of others who can go in and it won’t affect us,” Roy Hodgson, the Fulham manager, said. “He certainly will be, if this doesn’t work out, absolutely devastated. To have got so far and been a major influence in us getting so far, then not be able to take part.”

Zamora has a thickened Achilles tendon that makes movement painful. The 29-year-old toiled in last week’s semi-final, first leg in Hamburg — a goalless draw — and, in the second half, was replaced by Clint Dempsey, who may fill in for him again this evening. The injury has not healed as well as expected and Zamora did not train yesterday.

“The injury is obviously more serious than we anticipated,” Hodgson said. “I would think if it does not clear up in the coming days, the chances are we would choose to have a minor operation to clear up the area, around the tendon, which would help him next season.”

Hodgson suggested that Zamora might delay any procedure if there is the slimmest hope of cracking England’s World Cup squad, although Fabio Capello, the manager, surely believes that the plane to South Africa will already be loaded with enough health risks.

Fulham’s opponents are inscrutable. Incentivised because the final in May 12 will be held at their own HSH Nordbank Arena, Hamburg are in disorder. They lost 5-1 to Hoffenheim in the German league on Sunday and sacked their coach, Bruno Labbadia, the morning after. Good news for Fulham, then. Unless it isn’t.

“They could have Mickey Mouse in charge and still be desperate to get to a European final at their own stadium,” Danny Murphy, the Fulham captain, said.

Rather than plunder Disneyland, Hamburg went to Labbadia’s coaching staff and appointed Ricardo Moniz as his interim replacement. Murphy, 33, knows Moniz from their time with Tottenham Hotspur, for whom the Dutchman was the skills coach.

“He worked mostly on wingers and creative midfielders, and he was a good coach, the lads liked him a lot,” Murphy said. “It’s going to be one of two things — people are going to be disenchanted or play with freedom if the other manager was not everybody’s cup of tea. So I don’t think it will be any benefit. I just hope he has a bizarre tactical plan that goes horribly wrong.”

Moniz did his best to sound upbeat yesterday, as he did in 2006-07 when Murphy was out of the Tottenham line-up. “I always trained the substitutes,” the 45-year-old said. “He was very disappointed that he didn’t play, so we had a lot of contact. He thought that was the end of his career, but I said, ‘No, no — you keep working and you’ll get your reward.’ I’m obviously very happy for him.”

An all-English final would add flavour for Murphy, because he won the Uefa Cup with Liverpool in 2001.

“It is a different adventure,” he said, cynicism long since supplanted by optimism. “Winning trophies at Liverpool were some of the best memories of my life. But to do it with Fulham — not that we have won a trophy yet — to get to this level is more satisfying because nobody gave us a chance to do that.”



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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #35 on: April 29, 2010, 12:25:04 PM »
http://www.bettingpress.com/category/Football/Totesport-money-back-promise-if-Fulham-beat-Hamburg-2-1-201004290030/

Totesport money back promise if Fulham beat Hamburg 2-1


Betting Press Staff - 29 Apr 2010


Can Fulham FC upset all the odds by reaching the final of the Europa League?

Tonight is unarguably the biggest night in the history of Fulham Football Club and they are just 90 minutes (possibly 120) from reaching the final of the Europa League against either Liverpool FC or Atletico Madrid.

If Roy Hodgson can guide Fulham to the final of the Europa League at the expense of Hamburg it will surely go down as the biggest achievement of his illustrious career.

For this match Totesport are promising to refund all losing correct score bets if Fulham defeat the Germans 2-1 on the night.

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #36 on: April 29, 2010, 12:26:32 PM »
http://www.bettingpress.com/category/Football/Fulham-v-Hamburger-SV-tips-201004290028/

Fulham v Hamburger SV tips

Betting Press Staff - 29 Apr 2010


After being serial under-dogs throughout this year's Europa League, Fulham are now on the verge of making the final, all they need is a 90 minute victory over manager-less Hamburg and they have pulled off a minor miracle.

Even with a volcanic ash cloud hanging over Europe in Fulham's preparation for the first leg, they managed a very impressive 0-0 draw - mainly thanks to some impressive work between the sticks from Mark Schwarzer.

Hamburg are currently 7th in the German Bundesliga and after they followed up the goalless first leg with a 5-1 defeat away to Hoffenheim, their manager Bruno Labbadia was sacked. Ricardo Moniz, a member of the coaching staff will take control for this leg.

If you take the turmoil in the Hamburg camp, despite their undoubted talent, and add it to Fulham's solid home record I think Fulham are a great bet to advance to the final.

Fulham are 23/20 to win the match, but you can also cover your back by taking the Evens on Fulham to qualify for the final by any means.

Hamburg are 12/5 to win in 90 minutes and 8/11 to qualify, considering the only way it can go to extra time is another stalemate, if you fancy Hamburg I would just stick to the 90 minute price.

Form and fitness will play a big part in this match, another thing that makes me lean towards Fulham. Both teams lost their matches between the first and second legs but the manner in which Hamburg lost 5-1 then losing their manager will put them in the wrong frame of mind coming in to this match.

Fulham rested eight players from the first leg and still put in a decent performance, only losing 2-1 due to an injury-time penalty.

That match was their first loss in seven and their comfortable mid-table position has enabled them to fully focus their efforts on conquering Europe.

Hamburg have struggled to get a player who consistently bags the goals all season. No player has managed more than six goals in the league. Ruud Van Nistelrooy has hardly set the world alight, bagging three goals in his nine league appearances.

The big worry for Fulham in terms of team news is the worry that top-scorer Bobby Zamora may not be fit. He hobbled off in the first leg with an Achilles injury and remains a doubt for the match.

Without him, goals are sparse in the squad in the league but in Europe - Zoltan Gera has bagged an impressive five goals already in the competition. Gera looks a good price to open the scoring at 15/2 or 9/4 any time.

Ruud Van Nistelrooy is the favourite to open the scoring for the visitors, 9/2 is the price for him to do so. For a better price I recommend Mladen Petric, the Croatian has five goals in Hamburg's last six Europa League matches and 15/2 to open the scoring or 9/4 anytime certainly looks a good bet.

I reckon Fulham could easily qualify for the final, they have lost just one in their last eleven at Craven Cottage and although it's a bit tougher without Zamora, they still have the quality to overcome a demoralised Hamburg side.

I reckon it will be tight though, the 2-1 scoreline is where my money will be going and at 15/2 it would be a nice payday too.

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #37 on: April 29, 2010, 12:39:30 PM »
http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/apr/29/hamburg-ricardo-moniz-fulham-europa-league


Hamburg's Ricardo Moniz calm ahead of managerial debut against Fulham

• Former Spurs coach looking forward to Europa League tie


• 'It is a great experience for me, I can't deny that'


guardian.co.uk, Thursday 29 April 2010 12.11 BST


Ricardo Moniz maintains he has nothing to fear as the former Tottenham skills coach prepares for his first match in charge of Hamburg as they look to beat Fulham and reach the Europa League final.

The 45-year-old Dutchman – who had a spell in England with Tottenham as part of Martin Jol's backroom staff – has been placed in charge of the Germans until the end of the season following the sacking of Bruno Labbadia.

Having spent most of his career working as a specialist skills coach, tonight will represent a first match in sole managerial control for the former Holland international.

"There is no fear," said Moniz, a popular figure with the playing staff at the Nordbank Arena. "I am only happy and just look where I can help – I have to be objective, I have to be neutral.

"It is a great experience for me, I can't deny that. The players know me and I'm looking forward to it."

"The coach was sacked, it was a tragedy, but you can only be who you are. It was dramatic, but the next day you have to prepare yourself for a situation that will be unique for us. My only task is to give each player the confidence and be their strength."

Moniz worked with the current Fulham captain, Danny Murphy, when the midfielder was at Spurs, and struggling to hold down a regular place in the first team. The Dutchman revealed he did his best to convince the ex-England midfielder there was still plenty ahead of him.

"I always trained the substitutes – Edgar Davids was there at that time, Danny Murphy and Hossam Ghaly," Moniz said. "Danny was very disappointed that he didn't play, so we had a lot of contact. He thought that was the end of his career, but I said: 'No, no – you keep working and you will get your reward'.

"Danny was a little bit cynical about it – but I am obviously very happy for him because, as a coach, you only work for players."

Moniz is hoping for a welcome return to Craven Cottage, having been in the dugout when Spurs recorded a 4-0 FA Cup win during February 2007.

"I spoke about it when we drove here, I lived in another part of London, but it is familiar," said the Dutchman. "We played here a few times and the last game we played here was a positive result for Spurs, so it's a nice feeling for me."


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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #38 on: April 29, 2010, 12:40:24 PM »
http://hammyend.com/?p=7053

Up next: Hamburg (h)


by Dan on April 29, 2010

Plenty of unanswered questions abound ahead of tonight’s semi-final second leg against Hamburg. Fulham’s biggest night in the Europa League this season (though we’ve been saying that with each passing round) is almost here and yet there’s a sense of uncertainty and, dare I say it, a bit of foreboding too.

The Whites have always been a nearly side. Never have we progressed this far in European competition and, as Mohamed Al-Fayed has said already today, much of the credit for that must go to Roy Hodgson, who seems to specialise in achieving more than seems possible. But Fulham are also something of a nearly side. Even the trip to Wembley in 1975 was tinged with a bit of sadness as an excellent start gave way to disappointing failure. Our last semi-final, that ridiculous Sunday evening jaunt to Birmingham to face Chelsea in the FA Cup, definitely had a sense of anti-climax about it.

The tie remains delicately balanced after the goalless draw in Hambrug a week ago. That was an exceptional performance and a fine result, but the quirks of the away goals system mean that a single Hamburg goal tonight – always a possibility with the likes of van Nistelrooy, Petric, Berg and Guerrero in the side – would tilt the tie very definitely in the Germans’ favour. The big question is how the sacking of Bruno Labbadia, after a 5-1 defeat by Hoffenheim at the weekend, will impact upon Hamburg. The new manager (or in this case, promoted assistant) effect might just spur the Hamburg players on to produce a big performance.

Fulham know precisely what is needed tonight. They’ll need to remain just as disciplined as they were in Germany, but be a little more adventurous with the ball. That shouldn’t prove too difficult as Hodgson’s sides, whilst difficult to beat anywhere, are often more progressive at the Cottage. The key, of course, remains the balance between defensive solidity and carrying a threat up front, something which might prove tougher than normal should Bobby Zamora fail a fitness test on his troublesome Achilles.

If you’d have asked a Hammersmith End critic last season just how important Zamora was to the success of the Fulham side, they might have laughed and told you that he was useless. Goals have gone in this year for the rejuvanted forward, but it remains as much as his insatiable work rate and ability to bring others into play that troubles defenders as much as his goalscoring. Should Bobby not make it, there may be a chance for Erik Nevland to deliver a memorable send off just a couple of weeks before he prepares to finish his playing career back at Viking. The Norwegian’s scored some valuable goals in his time at the Cottage.

Midfield will once again be a key area. The way in which Dickson Etuhu and Danny Murphy have combined in the centre of the park has seen off some illiustrous foes already in this competition. The Nigerian was immense against Juventus here and Murphy’s clever passing was one of the reasons why Hodgson’s side looked so comfortable against Wolfsburg in the quarter final. The Fulham captain might not have hit the incredible heights of last season but he remains the heartbeat of this side. If he can use his experience of big European nights to set the right tempo and get the likes of Damien Duff and Clint Dempsey on the ball, then Fulham have a chance of ruining Hamburg’s hopes of a happy homecoming for the final in May.

MY FULHAM XI (4-4-1-1): Schwarzer; Pantsil, Konchesky, Hughes, Hangeland; Etuhu, Murphy, Duff, Dempsey; Gera; Zamora. Subs: Zuberbuhler, Kelly, Smalling, Davies, Riise, Nevland, Elm.

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #39 on: April 29, 2010, 01:21:57 PM »
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11708_6122889,00.html

Laws grounded on Euro chance


Clarets boss cheering Fulham on in Europe



Last updated: 29th April 2010   

Burnley boss Brian Laws believes qualifying for Europe would be a big boost to the club following their relegation from the Premier League.

The Clarets' 4-0 home defeat to Liverpool last weekend means they will suffer an immediate return to Championship football.

However, they are in line for a shock place in next season's Europa League if Fulham go on and win this year's tournament.

With Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester United and Chelsea all set to qualify for Europa via their league placing, only Fulham are ahead of Burnley in the Fair Play League.

Should the Cottagers win this year's Europa League then they would qualify as holders, meaning Burnley would be in pole position in the Fair Play League.

Fillip
Laws believes it would be a massive fillip for the club to play in Europe next season, although he is not counting his chickens just yet until Fulham get past Hamburg at the semi-final stage.

"It would obviously be nice if that actually happened, however, there's a lot of questions to be answered first and that's how Fulham do," he said.

"We'll be cheering them on hoping that they win the competition and that gives us a chance to come through the back door.

"If that happens it would be fantastic for the town. It'll give us a big lift after coming out of the Premier League."