Thursday, October 01, 2009

EUROPA LEAGUE .............


Fulham rested pretty much an entire starting eleven for the first group game in Sofia and were still comfortable in earning a 1-1 draw. Boss Roy Hodgson has made it clear that was a one off and that he will name his strongest available team, with only minimal changes, for the remaining five games. With Roma home and away up next, if the Cottagers want to progress, they surely have to look for all three points this evening. The visit of the Italian giants to the south west London club will be a massive game in Fulham's history and very high profile, there will be far less media interest/pressure tonight and easier points to win.

Hodgson has vast knowledge of european football and probably knows as much as anybody in England about Swiss football having spent 6-7 years there coaching at domestic and national level and retaining his contacts. He rates Basle at a similar level to CSKA and whilst he doesn't underestimate them, he feels they will offer few surprises. The visitors opened with an eyecatching win over Roma, but I remain unconvinced about The Wolves motivation for this tournament and Basle home and away are two very different animals. Domestically they have conceded 39 goals in 24 road starts, that's an average of 1.625 per game and a big number is a league where usually, they are top three at worst and facing weaker opposition.

Fulham lost at home to Arsenal at the weekend, but earned almost universal plaudits for their performance, at times they out pased and out played the Gunners and few teams do that. Hodgson appears good to his word and has named the following squad : Schwarzer, Zuberuhler ,Pantsil, Baird, Kelly, Smalling, Hughes,Riise, Greening, Dempsey, Murphy, Gera,Nevland, Zamora, Kamara, and Johnson.

He might rotatae the front men and we could see Kamara and Nevland upfront, but these two are hungry and IMO the squad looks plenty strong enough with Gera and Dempsey also looking to get forward at every opportunity, to put two or more past Basle and I expect this bet to win with relative ease.

Fulham -1/2 ball 1.86 asian line......... 1.80 + is good IMO.

Good Luck.

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