HAMBURG (Germany) (AFP) The prospect of playing the Europa League final on May 12 on home soil will inspire Hamburg against English giant-killers Fulham in Thursdays first-leg semi-final, insists striker Mladen Petric. Both the Hamburg-Fulham semi-final and Liverpools game at Atletico Madrid will go ahead despite fears the games may be cancelled due to the cloud of volcanic ash from Iceland that has grounded flights across Europe. With their chances of winning the Bundesliga title effectively ended by a shock 1-0 defeat at home to Mainz last weekend, Bruno Labbadia-coached Hamburg are determined to win a place in the final in their home stadium next month. Only Roy Hodgsons Fulham, the tournaments surprise package, stand between Hamburg and their dream final. Fulham pulled off one of the most stunning fight backs in European football history when they turned a 3-1 deficit from the first leg into a 4-1 win at home to go through 5-4 on aggregate in the last 16 against Juventus. They then beat defending German league champions Wolfsburg in the quarter-finals to set up this semi-final clash. Croatias Petric, Hamburgs leading scorer in the competition, will miss the first-leg with a groin strain, but is backing his team-mates to take an advantage into the second leg on April 29. There is some extra pressure, but its a positive pressure, said the 29-year-old. When you have the chance to play a final at home, you can use that as motivation. Because if you can play a final at home its completely different than playing it in another stadium. We have a good reputation in Europe, and have reached the semi-final twice in a row, and there arent many teams who can say that. We have been very confident in the Europa League, and have managed to beat some big names, like last season when nobody really expected us to be so strong. Hamburg were beaten at the same stage by Bundesliga rivals Werder Bremen last season, but Petric says the same thing will not happen this time. It will be a completely different game, he said. We were very unlucky in those matches, we were eliminated, even though in my opinion it wasnt necessarily deserved. I think that potentially we have a better team now, with more quality, and if we can demonstrate that, then it will hopefully go better than last time. Petric says Hamburg will not make Juventus mistake of taking Fulham lightly. We should never underestimate them because they have already eliminated very big names, and in the last four there are no easy teams, he said. In Petrics absence, HSV coach Labbadia can still call on Swedish international Marcus Berg and Ruud van Nistelrooy, who has found the net twice in Europe since joining in January from Real Madrid.