Riise ready for Europa test

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John Arne Riise is hoping to put his European pedigree to good use, as he bids to help Fulham in their quest for UEFA Europa League Group Stage qualification, with the visit of FC Dnipro to Craven Cottage this week.

The Ukrainian outfit will provide the Cottagers with their toughest test yet, in the early stages of their European campaign, and Riise is targeting further progression.

"We all know that this will be the hardest game we've had so far in this competition," he told "The Ukrainian league is quite strong and we expect them to be good technically and very well organised.

"We haven't had things all our own way, but we've done well and taken one game at a time. We've put ourselves in a good position and I hope that we can move further forward and into the Group Stage.

"It goes without saying that they [Dnipro] will come here wanting to do well, and we have to be aware of that threat. We have been very strong at the back and haven't conceded too many goals so far. In this competition, away goals can be vital.


"At the other end we have been creating chances and hopefully that will prove decisive on the night."

The 30-year-old defender made his European debut for Martin Jol's side in the previous round, after seeing off RNK Split 2-0 on aggregate. And having impressed in both legs, Riise is hoping to play an important part in overcoming the next hurdle.

"Like everyone at the Club, I enjoy playing in Europe," he added. "I have experience from European football from my past and I want to put that to good use for Fulham now.

"The team did well the last time they were involved in this competition and it would be nice to go some way in making it another run to be proud of.

“We’re two games away from the Group Stage, so it will be important to get the result we need on Thursday night.

"The second leg in the Ukraine next week will be a challenge also, so it would be good to go there with a positive result behind us.

"I think we're in good shape and playing some good football – so I see no reason why we can't progress."

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