Fulham Handed Boost Ahead of Hamburg Battle After Bruno Labbadia Sacking

COS contributor Ryan Baxter examines why Craven Cottage boss Roy Hodgson should be happy with Everton loss.

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Football - SV Hamburg v Fulham UEFA Europa League Semi Final First Leg

News has just filtered through that Hamburg have sacked their manager Bruno Labbadia just days before Thursday’s Europa League semi-final second leg against Fulham.
But, if the form book is anything to go by, Fulham were destined to win this tie even if God himself was in the away dugout.

Now, I’m a firm believer in analysing results before and after European ties – and if past results are anything to go by, Roy Hodgson shouldn’t be too disappointed with Everton’s last gasp penalty yesterday.

It’s well documented that Man United don’t pick up Premier League results following away ties in Europe, with losses against Chelsea (twice), Villa, Everton and Liverpool on the back of Champions League ties.

Well, Fulham have the opposite problem. A pattern has emerged over the season where the Cottagers tend to win European matches on the back of poor Premier League results.
This is why Roy Hodgson and his white army should, in fact, be content with defeat at Goodison Park.
If past results are anything to go by, the Londoners should get a result at home to Hamburg on Thursday night – potentially setting up a mouth-watering Europa League final against Liverpool on May 12th.

The Craven Cottage outfit have conquered Basle (twice), CSKA Sofia, Shakhtar Donetsk, Juventus and Wolfsburg (twice) in the group and knockout stages – but only two of those wins have come following a Premier League victory.

So, instead of bemoaning Lee Mason’s decision to award Everton a 94th minute penalty, Roy Hodgson should be buying the man a pint!

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