Zaccheroni wary of on-song Cottagers

Fulham have been one of the surprise packages of the Europa League

this year after they qualified from a group containing Serie A’s

Roma before knocking out Shakhtar Donetsk, the winners of the

competition last season in its former guise as the UEFA Cup. The

Bianconeri, who have won the competition three times, have the

better side on paper and are clear favourites to progress.

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. “We should never underestimate him and

his team. He was worked hard and has fought hard as a manager.”

Fulham’s 3-2 aggregate victory over Ukrainian side Shakhtar 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 tomorrow 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.” Zaccheroni had to conduct most of

Juventus’ training session indoors today after heavy snow hit

Turin. The game looks likely to go ahead, however, but the Old Lady

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. “We have a lot of injuries and that certainly

doesn’t help,” the Juve boss said. “Ideally I’d like more than

three quarters of my squad available but some are carrying

injuries. They will just have to carry on and cope with that

unfortunately.” Juventus bounced back from their first defeat since

Zaccheroni took charge by winning at Fiorentina last weekend. David

Trezeguet was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet in that match

but he is looking to make amends on Thursday. “I’m happy with my

work as part of the team at the moment and it would be a personal

victory to score tomorrow. I definitely want to score,” the

Frenchman said. Despite the injury crisis, Zaccheroni is still

likely to rotate some of his first-choice players. Trezeguet denies

that is a sign that Juventus are not taking the competition

seriously. “I think it’s a really important championship for us,”

the striker said. “This is an important match and we have to give

respect to this team that we are playing tomorrow. “They managed to

beat the last team to win the cup and we absolutely respect them

for this and I hope that we can go on and win. “We are in the right

frame of mind to be able to win after our win in Florence.”

Kick-off is at 8.05pm.