Fulham set for Roman challenge

Hodgson knows Serie A side will provide tough test in Stadio Olimpico tonight

Roy Hodgson, the Fulham manager, enjoyed a lot of success against Roma when he coached in Italy and he is hoping for more of the same in his side's Europa League showdown tonight.

While coaching Internazionale, Hodgson took on Roma five times, winning three matches and losing just once. "I have always enjoyed coming here," he said. "My memories are more positive than negative."

However, he knows the importance of tonight's match for both his team and Roma. "I expect Basle to win," Hodgson said. "That means that whoever loses at the Stadio Olimpico will have a difficult task to progress.

"I think in order for us to go through to the next round, we will need to finish with nine or 10 points. We will be wise and be prepared for a difficult game; we want to see how far we can go against them."

Claudio Ranieri, the Roma coach, is expecting a hard game against Fulham. The Giallorossi, still missing striker Francesco Totti with a knee injury, go into the game third in Group E, one point behind the second-placed Cottagers and two behind the leaders, Basle, with three games remaining.

Fulham arrive in the Italian capital on the back of a 3-1 win over Liverpool in the Premier League and Ranieri, a former coach of Fulham's west London rivals Chelsea, knows that his team will be put to the sternest of tests.

He said: "Fulham did well against Manchester City and they won convincingly against Liverpool. We expect a difficult game.

"We knew that would be the case in our first game against them, where we managed to come home with a point [from a 1-1 draw]."

Ranieri believes that the biggest threat Fulham pose will be on the break: "It's going to be complicated because Fulham will try to hit us in fast counter-attacks."

However, he remains confident his team will cope and improve in the hope of progressing to the next round.

"We have two important games at home and we want to keep going in Europe," he said.

"Of course we are missing the Champions League but that by no means suggests that we don't consider this competition important. We want to go as far as possible in this tournament."

Roma halted a run of three consecutive league defeats with a 2-1 victory over Bologna at the weekend to climb to 14th in Serie A.

Ranieri, though, is quick to admit his team are still a long way from being at their best. "We are missing a striker; we create chances but we are lacking a player to finish them off – we simply don't seem to score many goals."

Victory tonight will be a huge morale boost for the Giallorossi leading into Sunday's game away to Serie A leaders, Internazionale. "To go into the game at Inter with an important result would do good for our spirit," said Ranieri. "Our aim is to create goalscoring chances and try to finish them off without giving away a goal."

However, Roma will have to make do without the injured pair of Juan and Nicolas Burdisso, although Mirko Vucinic has recovered from a muscular injury and is set to lead the attack alongside Julio Baptista.

Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Sport
Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWERollins win the WWE World Heavyweight title in one of the greatest WrestleMania's ever seen
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor