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Fulham v Roma Preview: Fulham ready to topple Roma

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Fulham v Roma
Craven Cottage
Europa League
Thursday 22 October 20:05 BST

Claudio Ranieri will be hoping that his good record against Fulham FC – and their manager Roy Hodgson – will count for something as AS Roma visit Fulham FC in UEFA Europa League Group E, seeking a first competitive win in London.

Fulham face their toughest test yet in the Europa League when Italian giants Roma arrive in the capital. The glamour tie should be viewed as a benchmark for the Cottagers on which to judge their progress over recent years.

The two teams meet again in Rome on 5 November for Matchday 4.

Fulham Preview

Having secured European football through their Premier League standing last term, Roy Hodgson will be looking for his side to prove that they belong at this level.

They have not looked out of place so far, taking four points from their opening two fixtures against CSKA Sofia and Basle.

Roma, though, will offer a greater test of their resolve, with the Serie A outfit having tasted life in the UEFA Champions League on a regular basis over recent years.

They have made a disappointing start to their domestic endeavours this term, while they came unstuck against Basle in their opening continental contest.

They did bounce back against CSKA Sofia last time out, though, and their weekend defeat to AC Milan was their first setback in seven outings.

Europa League Live

Roma Preview

Meanwhile, former Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri, who is now in charge at Stadio Olimpico, will be keen to leave a positive impression upon his return to West London.

Roma have been dealt a triple blow as captain and talisman Francesco Totti has not been included in their travelling squad. The experienced playmaker missed the clash against Milan on Sunday following an ongoing problem with his right knee. Totti has been unable to train properly as a result and he will remain in Rome to continue working in the gym.

Juan and Marco Motta are also ruled out with injuries, suggesting Ranieri is likely to start with the same team that lost 2-1 at Giuseppe Meazza.

Fulham v Roma Prediction

The teams have never met. Fulham won their only previous home game against Serie A opposition, while Roma have been victorious just once in 13 games in England – 1-0 at Liverpool FC in a UEFA Cup fourth round game on 22 February 2001.

Fulham have yet to lose a home encounter after ten UEFA club competition fixtures, with five of those held at Craven Cottage and five at Loftus Road, home of west London rivals Queens Park Rangers FC.

Roma’s three trips to London in UEFA club competition have ended in two defeats and a 1-1 draw.

Roma are without their talisman Totti for this game but still have enough quality all over the pitch to give Fulham a stern test. But can they win the game? Probably not – Roy Hodgson’s tactical nous and ability to motivate his players should Fulham edge out as narrow winners.

Prediction: Fulham 1-0 Roma.

You can watch Fulham v Roma Live online here.

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