|HODGSON HOPING TO REPEAT FULHAM FINAL ROUTE WITH ENGLAND
Ladbrokes: 22 June 2012
Reproduced with permission from Ladbrokes.com
As patriotic punters clamber to get on England at 9/1 to win Euro 2012, an interesting pattern that occurred during Roy Hodgson's Fulham tenure is worth taking note of.
England's advancement to the quarter-final was preceded by a narrow victory over joint-hosts Ukraine, and that could remarkably prove the first step in a replication of Fulham's march to the 2010 Europa League final.
During that campaign, under the stewardship of Hodgson, the Cottagers progressed past Ukrainian outfit Shakhtar Donetsk en route to a quarter-final fixture with Italian giants Juventus.
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With England's reward for finishing top of Group D a last eight tie against Italy, Hodgson's runs in these respective European campaigns look eerily similar.
Three Lions backers will take heart from the fact that Fulham went on to advance at the expense of their Italian opposition, winning the second leg of their tie against Juventus by an emphatic 4-0 scoreline.
It is a massive 125/1 price about England besting Italy by the same score on Sunday.
What later appears more sensational though, is the fact that Fulham's advancement to the semi-final of the Europa League saw them meet German side Hamburg.
Hodgson's men went on to claim a famous 2-1 victory to ensure they met Spanish side Atletico Madrid in the final, which they went on to be defeated in, despite a brave performance.
It is therefore remarkable to note that success over Italy this Sunday would lead to a likely semi-final clash with Germany, who are expected to comfortably overcome Greece in their quarter-final outing.
Meanwhile, pre-tournament favourites Spain are expected to advance at France's expense, and will hold no fears in a semi-final against Portugal or the Czech Republic.
That would set up a Spain vs England final, and perfectly mirror the nationality of opposition Hodgson had to progress past in guiding his Fulham side to a European final.
He would obviously hope for a more favourable result in this year's final, should he steer his country there.
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