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The oldest and youngest managers in the Barclaycard Premiership pit their wits against one another for the second time as Sir Bobby Robson welcomes Chris Coleman and his Fulham side to St. James’ Park on Monday evening.

If this game is anything like their first meeting, we’re in for a cracker!

Despite losing the first game 3-2 and dropping down a couple of places since then, Chris Coleman’s side returned to the top six with their 2-1 win over Everton last weekend. The Londoners are now one place and one point above Newcastle in the table after 21 games.

In a season in which, it would seem, any team is capable of beating any other on the day – perhaps with the exception of the top three – both Fulham and Newcastle have benefited from the fact that those around them have dropped points they would not have expected to. Whether either side can capitalise on that fortune in the second half of the season remains to be seen.

Fulham are not being considered as serious challengers for a Champions League place, but Coleman has already proved many doubters wrong and they should certainly not be written off yet – particularly if they get a result against Newcastle.

The Cottagers’ away form has not matched that at home while The Magpies are always strongest in front of the Toon Army, suggesting that an upset may be unlikely on Tyneside.

But Fulham stunned Old Trafford with a 3-1 raid days after their defeat to Newcastle and having also won at White Hart Lane and Ewood Park, they have shown that they can be dangerous on their travels.

Fulham midfielder Sean Davis is returning to form after taking time to get back up to speed following his injury layoff. The 24-year-old – who nearly joined Everton earlier in the season – was at the heart of a determined display from his side, showing the Merseysiders what they were missing and silencing disparaging chants from visiting fans with an imperious 90 minutes in the 2-1 win.

His manager was certainly impressed by his effort, describing it as his finest performance for the club, and Davis admitted: “It was about time I put in a good game to be fair. Nobody’s had a go at me, not the Gaffer nor the players, but I know myself that I haven’t played all that well since I’ve been back.

“I thought I had a half decent game at Leeds, but I was a lot sharper against Everton, winning tackles and getting some passes in. But really it’s just good to be involved in the team. I’m playing in a different role – I’m not playing in front of the back four anymore – and I think I’m adjusting to it now. But I’ll play anywhere – right-back, up front, I don’t mind.”