Hodgson’s men are out of the Cottage and into the Wolf’s Lair
Fulham travel to Germany to take on Vfl Wolfsburg in the second leg of their Europa League quarter final tie.
With only seconds left of the first leg, many Fulham fans were dreaming whether it would be Standard Liege or Hamburg that they would be facing in the semi-finals of this fairytale European campaign. A 2-0 lead would surely be unassailable for Wolfsburg even at home. Could tiny Fulham upset all the odds and even make it to the final of a European competition......
Then Wolfsburg scored.
Zvjezdan Misimovic's quickly taken corner was headed in by Alexander Madlung making the score 2-1.
All thoughts then switched from semi-finals and possible finals to a daunting quarter-final second leg at the Volkswagen Stadium. The vital away goal that bulged the back of the Fulham net at Craven Cottage has changed the complexion of this tie.
Fulham have ‘pulled out all the stops' in this competition this season and fully deserve the plaudits for their performances so far, however, this is a real tough match that they face against Wolfsburg who have only lost one European match at home this season.
The Cottagers are priced at 19/5 to defeat the Germans on their own turf and if you take Wolfsburg's domestic home form into consideration doesn't look as farfetched as you would think. The reigning Bundesliga champions are disappointingly sat in mid table mainly caused by their horrid home form. They've actually lost more games at the Volkswagen Stadium this season than they've won.
Wolfsburg are still favourites for the game at 8/11, partly because Fulham's away form is even worse than the hosts home form. Fulham fans are more than aware that of their team's inadequacies away from the Cottage. The club has won just one of its last ten away fixtures, and has secured only four away victories all season.
When looking at first scorers for visiting Fulham , it's hard to ignore the in-form striker Bobby Zamora who has 18 goals in all competitions and is 7/1 to open the scoring. He did just that in the first leg and if he can do the same again Fulham will be in dreamland.
The man who doubled Fulham's lead in that game was Damien Duff. The winger has rediscovered the form that he regularly displayed for rivals Chelsea and he's priced at 12/1 to notch the opener.
For Wolfsburg, their main man is the much coveted Edin Dzeko who surely has a great future ahead of him. The 24 year old Bosnian has 18 league goals this season and also has a habit of scoring against English clubs. Although he was unable to get his name on the score sheet in the first leg, Dzeko has scored against Portsmouth in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup and in both ties against Man Utd in the 2009/10 Champions League and if Wolfsburg are to score, he will surely be involved. At 4/1 he is favourite to break the deadlock.
His strike partner Grafite will hope to scrawl his name all over this game by hitting the first, 5/1 is a reasonable price for him to do so.
For this game I would be recommending a home win for the Wolves. Fulham have exceeded all expectations on this terrific European run but I fear this could be a game too far for Roy Hodgson's plucky men. In the correct score market I can see a 2-0 Wolfsburg victory at 8/1.