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My 5 Keys to Victory for Fulham in the Europa League against Hamburg - Match Preview 1st leg

Roy Hodgson at Manchester United Photo via Getty Images
Roy Hodgson at Manchester United Photo via Getty Images

Fulham play tomorrow against Hamburg in Germany.  This is the first leg of the semifinals in the Europa League. The game takes place at 8:05PM UK Time and 3:05PM EST. The game will be shown in the U.S. on GOL TV Live.

This match will be a huge challenge for Fulham. The club was not able to take an airplane to Germany. The team left yesterday on a luxurious coach on their way to Germany. Let's hope the travel change will not affect their play tomorrow.

Hamburg currently sit 7th in the Bundesliga. They have scoring potential with the very dangerous Ruud van Nistelrooy at striker. However, Mladen Petric another fine striker has been ruled out of the first leg. Below are"my 5 keys to victory for Fulham in the Europa League against Hamburg."

1. Fulham need to score at least one away goal.  Since the first leg is away in Germany, Fulham really need to score at least one goal. They could lose this match, but still be in the semifinals going into the second leg at Craven Cottage if they can score. Let's hope they do not give up 3 goals again like they did against Juventus.  

2. Fuham need to contain Ruud van Nistelrooy.  This striker can really put some serious pressure on the Fulham defense. Mladen Petric is out so there could be an opportunity to put more of a focus on Ruud van Nistelrooy and shut him down. If the defense plays very strong, Fulham could be in good shape.  

3.  Danny Murphy needs to control the midfield. I think he will be a huge key in this match. If Murphy can control the midfield, he might be able to set up several opportunities for Bobby Zamora. It is imperative to get the ball to Bobby Zamora. 

4.  Bobby Zamora needs to be a force.  I think Fulham are at their best when Zamora can be physical and control the opponents defense. If Fulham can get the ball to Zamora it will be up to him take advantage of the defense. Zamora has the ability to pass to teammates and shoot himself. To score at all tomorrow for Fulham, Zamora needs to be incredibly involved. 

5. Will Clint Dempsey play tomorrow? He has been injured the last few games. If he does play tomorrow his presence could give Fulham an extra scoring threat.  Dempsey has the ability to play great in big games. When he is on the left side and Damien Duff is on the right side I think Fulham are very dangerous. If he cannot play, Simon Davies is more than capable to play on the left side of the midfield. 

Tomorrow's first leg is a huge opportunity for Fulham to take control of the semifinals. As stated earlier, if they can at least score a goal, and limit the scoring from Hamburg they could be in real good shape coming back to Craven Cottage. I can't wait for the match tomorrow to begin.