Fulham vs Hamburg: End of the affair for Cottagers

Fulham head into tonight’s Europa League second leg tired but full of confidence, having held their opponents to a 0-0 draw in the away tie.

Brede Hangeland

Fulham defence at the ready

The Cottagers played a controlled game last week and were tight at the back, defying away form which is riddled with defeats. Home is where the heart is for Fulham, who have lost only twice in 12 games on familiar soil.

They have made no secret that the Europa League is a priority over the Premier League and have fielded weakened sides for domestic league clashes to save game-changing players.

Although safe from relegation, Fulham have slipped to twelfth place on the back of a string of draws and defeats. Their opponents Hamburg are in a similar spot with patchy form domestically belied by glittering performances in Europe.

Fulham are the bookies’ favourites tonight, but not emphatically. The most tipped score line is 1-1 at around 6.5-1 on Betfair, swiftly followed by 1-0 and then 0-0, so a high scoring game is not expected.

That’s partly down to the absence of Bobby Zamora, who The Press will tell you has been a revelation up-front this season and has transformed from a striker who does not score to one that scores quite a lot.

Without him, there is a big question mark over the source of Fulham’s goals. Clint Dempsey is a front runner; he provides Gerrard-like scoring support for the front men and his form has picked up throughout an injury hampered season.

Hamburg have their own issues, however, and following a 5-1 thrashing by Hoffenheim manager Bruno Labbadia has just been given the boot.

Pundits question the benefit of this move on the eve of such a critical Europa League tie, especially given that he is replaced by coach Ricardo Moniz, who is seen as part of the old order.

Fulham will ignore this internal strife and concentrate on the goal threat posed by returning strikers Mladen Petric and Ruud van Nistelrooy. An away goal tonight would be a serious blow to Fulham’s silverware dreams.

Best bet: Hamburg win @3.9 on Betfair

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1 Response » to “Fulham vs Hamburg: End of the affair for Cottagers”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by BestFootballBet.com. BestFootballBet.com said: We hate to say it, but tonight could be the end for Fulham: http://bit.ly/cawq61 [...]

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