Fulham play tomorrow against Wolfsburg at Craven Cottage. This is the first leg of the quarterfinals in the Europa League. The game takes place at 8PM UK Time and 3PM EST. The game will be shown in the U.S. on Direc TV only. The second leg will be played April 8th at Wolfsburg.
Wolfsburg won the Bundesliga title last year. This year they currently sit ninth in there league. This team can score goals, but can give them up as well. Edin Dzeko, their leading scorer is injured and is in doubt for the match. Regardless if he plays or not this team has other weapons.They should prove to be a challenge to Roy Hogdson and Fulham. Below are " My 5 Keys to Victory for Fulham against Wolfsburg".
1. Fuham need to minimize the away goals and keep a clean sheet if possible. This key is more about the big picture and the 2 legs. If Mark Schwarzer can get a clean sheet against Wolfsburg and Fulham score at least one goal, I think that sets the team up in decent shape for the second leg. This is not going to be easy.
2. Whether Edin Dzeko plays or not the Wolfsburg strikers need to be contained. Dzeko has scored 16 goals in his league this year. Grafite has scored 9 goals so far this year in the Bundesliga. Obafemi Martins formerly of NewCastle United has scored 6 goals this year in the Bundesliga. They have a good amount of goal scoring capability. At home it is vital for the defense to shut down the Wolfsburg strikers.
3. What position will Chris Baird play tomorrow? Chris Baird played well in central midfield against Juventus at Craven Cottage. He could also play at right back if needed. If he plays at CM that means that Dickson Etuhu would be on the bench. Dickson Etuhu has struggled at times especially with his passing. For me I would like Baird at the CM position. I think it makes Fulham more dangerous. I think Stephen Kelly at right back can do the job. He has been inconsistent, but at times has played well. Where Baird ends up playing I think is a key for the match.
4. Fulham need to control the midfield and limit Wolfsburg's Zvjezdan Misimovic. According to 101greatgoals.com, Misimovic set a new record for assists last season in the Bundesliga. He ended up with 18 assists. If Fulham cannot contain this player, they could be in trouble. This year alone he has scored 8 goals and has 9 assists in the Bundesliga. Danny Murphy in many ways controls the midfield for Fulham. He will be a huge key in this match with his passing. If he can get the ball up to the strikers, Fulham could have several scoring opportunities.
5. Fulham need to take advantge of an average Wolfsburg defense. I mentioned in the beginning of this entry that Wolfsburg score many goals. They also give up a great deal of goals. According to 101greatgoals.com, this year they have given up 51 goals in the Bundesliga. There is only one other team in the Bundesliga that has given up more and that is Hannover, according to 101greatgoals.com. I think it is imperative that Bobby Zamora and Zoltan Gera take advantage of this defense. If Fulham can score multiple goals tomorrow that would really help going back to Germany for the second leg.
Tomorrow will be another challenge for Fulham to overcome. I am hoping they take advantage of this great opportunity they have tomorrow at Craven Cottage.