FOOTBALL BETTING: Live on Five: 19.45: Plucky Fulham are off to Hamburg for their high-profile last match of a long, hard season. Is it one match to much for The Cottagers? Chris Hutcheon previews.
In four Europa League ties this season, those against Shakhtar Donetsk, Juventus, Wolfsburg and Hamburg, the odds have been stacked against Fulham and they have been tipped for defeat, yet on each occasion they have found a way to progress. Now Roy Hodgson’s men find themselves in the final of the competition but again the battling Cottagers are classed as outsiders ahead of their clash with Atletico Madrid in Hamburg’s HSH Nordbank Arena.
Fulham are 6/4 courtesy of Betdaq to lift the trophy while the Spanish outfit are odds-on at 8/13 courtesy of Ladbrokes and in the match betting Totesport chalk 5/4 against Atletico, who accounted for Liverpool in the semi-final and Hodgson’s troops are 13/5 at William Hill to come out on top in normal time. Sadly for Fulham, on this occasion the prices could prove to be spot on as this contest may be a bridge too far for the battling Cottagers, who look set to succumb to the savvy Spaniards.
Nevertheless, they can push the La Liga outfit all the way and will have seen enough defensive frailty in Atletico Madrid’s two-legged clash with Liverpool to suggest that they can get on the scoresheet, an outcome Partybets chalk up at 2/5. Accordingly, a strong case can be made for the 19/20 William Hill chalk against both teams finding the net and in a fixture that seems likely to yield a narrow Madrid success by a one-goal margin (3/1, bet365), the correct score value lies with the 9/1 offered by Ladbrokes for Quique Sanchez Flores’ side to shade it 2-1.
Bobby Zamora faces a race against time to be fit for the clash and his injury troubles could prove pivotal in Germany. Subsequently, the World Cup hopeful could be overshadowed by former Manchester United striker Diego Forlan, who has performed well in the tournament so far and the Uruguayan marksman is 9/2 (Victor Chandler) to break the deadlock.