Fulham have been one of the surprise packages of the Europa League this year after they qualified from a group containing Serie A’s Roma before knocking out Shakhtar Donetsk, the winners of the competition last season in its former guise as the UEFA Cup.
The Bianconeri, who have won the competition three times, have the better side on paper and are clear favourites to progress.
Zaccheroni only beat Hodgson once during the three spells the 62-year-old spent in Italy and he has told his team they will have to fight hard to beat the Cottagers.
“He is a very honest person. He plays teams in a very structured system, 4-4-2,” said Zaccheroni of Hodgson, who managed Inter Milan twice and Udinese in the 1990s.
“His teams are always successful without trying to do too much, they just keep it simple.
“We should never underestimate him and his team. He was worked hard and has fought hard as a manager.”
Fulham’s 3-2 aggregate victory over Ukrainian side Shakhtar was a sign for Zaccheroni of how far Hodgson has taken the Londoners since he brought them back from the brink of relegation in 2007.
“I watched Fulham when they played Shakhtar and they were very strong on the field,” added the former AC Milan boss.
“They were arranged very orderly and have plenty of good players so tomorrow will be a tough match.
“None of the players play for themselves, they all play for the team they can defend really well, we all saw that from the match in Donetsk.
“They are a typical English team, they’re very tough, they create a lot and have some excellent players who just want to play for the team.”
Zaccheroni had to conduct most of Juventus’ training session indoors today after heavy snow hit Turin.
The game looks likely to go ahead, however, but the Old Lady will be without key players Gianluigi Buffon, Giorgio Chiellini and Amauri who are all out with thigh injuries.
Felipe Melo is suspended and Zaccheroni is short of midfield cover so may have to call upon Mohamed Sissoko and Claudio Marchisio, who are both carrying knocks.
“We have a lot of injuries and that certainly doesn’t help,” the Juve boss said.
“Ideally I’d like more than three quarters of my squad available but some are carrying injuries. They will just have to carry on and cope with that unfortunately.”
Juventus bounced back from their first defeat since Zaccheroni took charge by winning at Fiorentina last weekend.
David Trezeguet was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet in that match but he is looking to make amends on Thursday.
“I’m happy with my work as part of the team at the moment and it would be a personal victory to score tomorrow. I definitely want to score,” the Frenchman said.
Despite the injury crisis, Zaccheroni is still likely to rotate some of his first-choice players.
Trezeguet denies that is a sign that Juventus are not taking the competition seriously.
“I think it’s a really important championship for us,” the striker said.
“This is an important match and we have to give respect to this team that we are playing tomorrow.
“They managed to beat the last team to win the cup and we absolutely respect them for this and I hope that we can go on and win.
“We are in the right frame of mind to be able to win after our win in Florence.”
Kick-off is at 8.05pm.