Zaccheroni: Don’t underestimate Fulham

Posted on 11/03/2010


Alberto Zaccheroni has warned his Juventus side to avoid complacency against Fulham as he looks to put one over on his old adversary Roy Hodgson in the Europa League last 16 first leg contest.

Zaccheroni only beat Hodgson once during the three spells the 62-year-old spent in Italy and he has told his team they will have to fight hard to beat the Cottagers.

“He is a very honest person. He plays teams in a very structured system, 4-4-2,” said Zaccheroni of Hodgson, who managed Inter Milan twice and Udinese in the 1990s.

“His teams are always successful without trying to do too much, they just keep it simple.”

Fulham’s 3-2 aggregate victory over Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk was a sign for Zaccheroni of how far Hodgson has taken the Londoners since he brought them back from the brink of relegation in 2007.

“I watched Fulham when they played Shakhtar and they were very strong on the field,” added the former AC Milan boss.

“They were arranged very orderly and have plenty of good players so it will be a tough match.

“None of the players play for themselves, they all play for the team they can defend really well, we all saw that from the match in Donetsk.

“They are a typical English team, they’re very tough, they create a lot and have some excellent players who just want to play for the team.”

Juve will be without key players Gianluigi Buffon, Giorgio Chiellini and Amauri who are all out with thigh injuries.

Felipe Melo is suspended and Zaccheroni is short of midfield cover so may have to call upon Mohamed Sissoko and Claudio Marchisio, who are both carrying knocks.

Fulham will be without injured trio Andrew Johnson, Clint Dempsey and John Pantsil (all knee) but Paul Konchesky is available after ankle trouble and will replace Nicky Shorey, who is cup-tied.

Hodgson said: “Given our position when I came to the club I don’t think many people would have actually given any credence to the fact that we’d be this far forward now in our development.

“Apart from appearing in the last vestiges of the Intertoto Cup, we haven’t had any European history so we are making history as we go along.

“The history we are making this year is a very important step in the club’s history and one which I hope will provide that stronger foundation that which clubs like ourselves need to make.

“These adventures in Europe can help us in terms of us becoming a stronger football club but we have a long way to go, mind, before we match the Inter Milans, the Juves and the Milans.”

Juventus Fulham
Goals Carvalho De Oliveira Amauri 2 Bobby Zamora 3
Reds Hasan Salihamidzic 1 Danny Murphy 1
Yellows Nicola Legrottaglie 1 Jonathan Greening 4

Last Five Matches in Competition
Juventus Fulham
H: Ajax Amsterdam 0-0 A: Shakhtar Donetsk 1-1
A: Ajax Amsterdam 1-2 H: Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1
A: FC Basel 2-3
H: CSKA Sofia 1-0
A: AS Roma 2-1
Next Five Matches in Competition
Juventus Fulham
3/11 H: Fulham 3/11 A: Juventus
3/18 A: Fulham 3/18 H: Juventus