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Monday 18 December 2017

Hughes bullish Cottagers can make name in Turin

Fulham defender Aaron Hughes is hoping to send out a warning to the rest of Europe by claiming the prize scalp of Juventus in tonight's Europa League showdown in Turin.

Hughes will lead out the Cottagers at the Stadio Olimpico di Torino tonight for the first leg of the last-16 tie.

Juventus are one of the giants of the Italian game but they have not won a trophy since being relegated from Serie A for their part in the match fixing scandal in 2006 -- and they currently sit fifth in Italy's top flight.

Conversely, Fulham are enjoying their most successful European campaign in history and Hughes believes a win over the Bianconeri could make everyone sit up and take notice of the west London side.

"It would be a massive scalp," said Hughes, who will lead the side in the absence of the suspended Danny Murphy.

"Maybe they're not in the best form at the moment but that doesn't make a difference as far as we're concerned.

"If we could get something from the two legs and progress then it would be a massive result for us.

"It would definitely stick out in the club's history and a few people across Europe would sit up and take note of the result."

Tonight's game will be Hughes' 43rd game of the season for Fulham, who have enjoyed cup success domestically as well as in Europe.

The Cottagers face a tough trip to Old Trafford to face Premier League leaders Manchester United on Sunday before hosting Juve at Craven Cottage in the second leg.

Hughes admits he is starting to feel fatigued but is nevertheless happy to allow his body to get through the remainder of the month on adrenaline.

"Sometimes you get more mentally tired than you do physically," the 30-year-old said.

"But you forget about the tiredness when you've got Juventus on the Thursday followed by Manchester United on a Sunday."

Fulham yesterday forfeited their right to train at the stadium in an attempt to protect the pitch, which has been covered in heavy snow. Roy Hodgson's side instead trained indoors at Juventus' training ground and the 62-year-old admits preparations for the match could have been better.

He said: "It will be difficult and will cut up badly but it's not a drawback, not enormously. It can't be that bad. It will be 105m long by 68m wide so I'll take my chances."

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