Tuesday 23 May 2017

Del Piero eyes World Cup spot

Alessandro Del Piero is hoping to boost his chances of making Italy's World Cup squad by firing Juventus past Fulham into the last eight of the Europa League.

Juve go into tonight's match at Craven Cottage with a 3-1 lead from the first leg in Turin. Del Piero (35) missed that match but is expected to face Fulham after scoring twice in Sunday's 3-3 draw with Siena.

The striker has not featured for the Azzurri since Euro 2008 and Italy manager Marcello Lippi has not given any indication he will take the striker to South Africa. That has not put Del Piero off, though .

Meanwhile, Fulham striker Bobby Zamora is glad to have finally proved a point to the fans who booed him at the start of the season.

Zamora is enjoying easily his most successful season in the top flight, having found the target 15 times. His form is a far cry from last year's dismal haul of just four goals, which led fans to turn on him.

"I have silenced one or two that aimed criticism at me and it's now all been swept under carpet," he said. "I have turned a few people and I suppose I have rubbed their noses in it a bit by scoring."

Juventus will be without their top two goalkeepers, Gianluigi Buffon and Alex Manninger. Fulham captain Danny Murphy and fellow midfielder Jonathan Greening are suspended. Andy Johnson, John Pantsil and David Elm are injured.

Fulham v Juventus

Live, Setanta Ireland, 6.0

Irish Independent

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