Fulham ready to embark on another Europa League adventure

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Fulham will be eagerly awaiting another crack at the Europa League after their adventure in the competition last year and it is 20/1 that they reach the final again next season.

Mark Hughes’ team have been handed a spot in next season’s Europa League because of their positive disciplinary record, which saw them finish fourth in the Premier League’s fair play standings.

Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester United finished above them in this specific table, but as this trio had already confirmed their European places through other means, the remaining spot when to Fulham.

However, Fulham have a long road ahead of them if they want to reach the 2012 final in Bucharest, as they will have to progress all of the way through from the first qualifying round.

Fulham will have to negotiate four qualifying rounds in total before even entering the group stages of the competition, with their opposition getting tougher on paper at each stage.

The first two qualifying rounds should prove relatively straightforward, although there are some possible banana skins lurking within the draw.

It is the third qualifying rounds when some of the big guns enter, including Atletico Madrid, Roma, Mainz and Young Boys, while the play-off round is full of dangerous opponents.

Alongside Tottenham, Sevilla and Schalke, the final qualifying round also sees the introduction of teams including Lazio, Spartak Moscow, PSV Eindhoven, Besiktas and Celtic.

Fulham are 5/2 in the Europa League odds to successfully qualify through the four rounds to the group stages, while it is 50/1 that they go all the way and win the competition.

Midfielder Jonathan Greening said: “A club like ours will relish the challenge. We know we’re probably a few years off the Champions League, so we should take this chance with open arms.

“I was involved in most of the games two years ago and have great memories.”

A £30 stake on Fulham reaching the 2012 Europa League final would return £600. New customers can sign up here for a free £30 bet.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.