Roy Hodgson is calling on fans to enter ‘Barclays Around the World in 90 Minutes’ a global fan competition to find the best Barclays Premier League match-day experience of any fan in the world. Fans have until 22nd March to enter via the competition website –

Roy Hodgson has told skysports.com that Fulham have done their homework on Shakhtar Donetsk.

The Cottagers have been paired against last season’s UEFA Cup winners in the last 32 of the Europa League.

The first leg of the intriguing continental contest takes place at Craven Cottage on Thursday, offering Fulham an opportunity to further enhance a promising campaign.

Hodgson is under no illusion as to the size of the task facing his side, but insists his team is fully prepared for the relatively unknown quantity that is Eastern European opposition.

„It is interesting. Once you reach the round of 32 it is always going to be interesting and on paper very tough,” he told skysports.com.

„To get the reigning champions and a team which is of great interest to everyone in Europe, because we don’t come across Ukrainian or Russian football that often, it is a very interesting draw for us. We are looking forward to the game, albeit that we know we have a very tough test ahead.

„The Premier League is our bread and butter, and that is what keeps us afloat and where the largest part of our income is, but on the other hand it was great last year to finish so high up that we got a place in Europe and it’s been a really good experience so far getting to this last 32.

„We have enjoyed all the games and all the experiences and I think it is helping us to grow as a club. It is giving some of our players, not so much the ones who play regular internationals but the others, a taste of European football which they might not have got otherwise.”

Shakhtar are currently in the middle of their winter break, with the Ukrainian season shutting down in early December, but Hodgson does not buy into the belief that a lack of action could see them arrive in England a little ring rusty.

„It’s difficult to say. I think it is a question for them whether they think the rest has been advantageous or disadvantageous,” he said.

„I have been in that situation many times with Scandinavian teams, Malmo in particular, where we have got to the quarter-finals of competitions or the last 32 and we have come out of a break.

Hodgson is not a man to leave things to chance, renowned for throwing himself into his work, and despite Shakhtar’s recent lack of playing time he is fully versed on what to expect from Mircea Lucescu’s side.

He said: „We have seen quite a lot of reports and videos on them. We have studied video of their match against Tottenham last year and we have studied video of their final matches in the Ukrainian league, not least their one against Dynamo Kiev, and we have looked at videos and reports from the recent Marbella tournament which they have taken part in.

„We feel we have a fairly good idea of who they are and how they try to play. But of course all of us teams in the Premier League playing in Europe, we have always got important games before and after so one can only be focused on the European game for a short period of time i.e. after the cup game against Notts County and before the league game against Birmingham.”

Stunning Cork City fan Lisa-Marie was strutting her stuff in the Soccer AM studios on Saturday.

Andy Gray explains who should buy in the transfer window and why – and who will just have to make do.

Roy Hodgson has told skysports.com that Fulham have done their homework on Shakhtar Donetsk.

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez does not believe the Europa League can be viewed as a poor relation of the UEFA Champions League.

Steven Gerrard has dismissed suggestions that Liverpool will not be 100% committed in the Europa League.

Emiliano Insua is determined to bring silverware to Anfield in the form of the Europa League trophy.

Jamie Carragher has handed Liverpool an injury boost after being declared fit to face Unirea Urziceni.

Read the article on Sky Sports

Hodgson does his homework

Roy Hodgson is calling on fans to enter ‘Barclays Around the World in 90 Minutes’ a global fan competition to find the best Barclays Premier League match-day experience of any fan in the world. Fans have until 22nd March to enter via the competition website –

Roy Hodgson has told skysports.com that Fulham have done their homework on Shakhtar Donetsk.

The Cottagers have been paired against last season’s UEFA Cup winners in the last 32 of the Europa League.

The first leg of the intriguing continental contest takes place at Craven Cottage on Thursday, offering Fulham an opportunity to further enhance a promising campaign.

Hodgson is under no illusion as to the size of the task facing his side, but insists his team is fully prepared for the relatively unknown quantity that is Eastern European opposition.

„It is interesting. Once you reach the round of 32 it is always going to be interesting and on paper very tough,” he told skysports.com.

„To get the reigning champions and a team which is of great interest to everyone in Europe, because we don’t come across Ukrainian or Russian football that often, it is a very interesting draw for us. We are looking forward to the game, albeit that we know we have a very tough test ahead.

„The Premier League is our bread and butter, and that is what keeps us afloat and where the largest part of our income is, but on the other hand it was great last year to finish so high up that we got a place in Europe and it’s been a really good experience so far getting to this last 32.

„We have enjoyed all the games and all the experiences and I think it is helping us to grow as a club. It is giving some of our players, not so much the ones who play regular internationals but the others, a taste of European football which they might not have got otherwise.”

Shakhtar are currently in the middle of their winter break, with the Ukrainian season shutting down in early December, but Hodgson does not buy into the belief that a lack of action could see them arrive in England a little ring rusty.

„It’s difficult to say. I think it is a question for them whether they think the rest has been advantageous or disadvantageous,” he said.

„I have been in that situation many times with Scandinavian teams, Malmo in particular, where we have got to the quarter-finals of competitions or the last 32 and we have come out of a break.

Hodgson is not a man to leave things to chance, renowned for throwing himself into his work, and despite Shakhtar’s recent lack of playing time he is fully versed on what to expect from Mircea Lucescu’s side.

He said: „We have seen quite a lot of reports and videos on them. We have studied video of their match against Tottenham last year and we have studied video of their final matches in the Ukrainian league, not least their one against Dynamo Kiev, and we have looked at videos and reports from the recent Marbella tournament which they have taken part in.

„We feel we have a fairly good idea of who they are and how they try to play. But of course all of us teams in the Premier League playing in Europe, we have always got important games before and after so one can only be focused on the European game for a short period of time i.e. after the cup game against Notts County and before the league game against Birmingham.”

Stunning Cork City fan Lisa-Marie was strutting her stuff in the Soccer AM studios on Saturday.

Andy Gray explains who should buy in the transfer window and why – and who will just have to make do.

Roy Hodgson has told skysports.com that Fulham have done their homework on Shakhtar Donetsk.

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez does not believe the Europa League can be viewed as a poor relation of the UEFA Champions League.

Steven Gerrard has dismissed suggestions that Liverpool will not be 100% committed in the Europa League.

Emiliano Insua is determined to bring silverware to Anfield in the form of the Europa League trophy.

Jamie Carragher has handed Liverpool an injury boost after being declared fit to face Unirea Urziceni.

Read the article on Sky Sports

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