FULHAM (0) v/s HAMBURG (0)
FULHAM boss Roy Hodgson insists he will not gamble on the fitness of top scorer Bobby Zamora for their crunch Europa League semi-final with Hamburg at Craven Cottage.
The 19-goal striker limped out of the 0-0 first-leg draw in Germany a week ago with an Achilles problem, and is only rated as 50/50 to turn out for the biggest game in the club’s modern history tonight.
Zamora missed the weekend defeat at Everton and has sat out training with the rest of the squad this week, instead focusing on his fitness with the medical team.
And Hodgson says he will give the 29-year-old until the very last minute to prove his fitness before naming the side charged with firing Fulham into a first-ever European final.
“When Bobby plays we know what we are doing, and when he does not play, we have people who come in and know what we are doing, so we can leave it late in that respect,” Hodgson explained.
“He will have treatment again tomorrow, then go in front of our medical people, and I think by lunchtime I should know whether or not he has a chance of playing.”
Hodgson rested nine players from Sunday’s 2-1 defeat at Everton, but all are expected to return tonight, while John Pantsil is expected to come in for the suspended Chris Baird.
In contrast, Hamburg arrive at Craven Cottage in a mess having sacked coach Bruno Labbadia after losing 5-1 to Hoffenheim on Sunday.
Indeed, the Germans have won just four games in their last 14 and assistant coach Ricardo Moniz is without striker Tunay Toran, who has a ligament injury.