Neither Fulham nor Newcastle United have been covering themselves in glory of late, with the Cottagers having not won in their last six and the Magpies losing five of their last seven in all competitions.
However, both will feel that form belies what they are truly capable of and the Toon showed a rare spark of last season’s successes again last Monday as they dispatched ten-man Wigan Athletic 3-0.
Martin Jol’s side were on the wrong side of that same scoreline as this punter correctly predicted they would lose at home to Tottenham last weekend and they will be looking to bounce back this time around.
The fact that Newcastle have to travel a long way down to west London on a cold Monday night cannot be overlooked and the home side could take advantage if Alan Pardew’s men make a quiet start to the game.
Despite their recent troubles, Fulham started the season well. It also must be remembered that Fulham’s poor form has coincided with a tough run of fixtures which has included trips to Chelsea, Stoke and Arsenal, from which they still managed to pick up a respectable two points.
The Cottagers thrashed Newcastle 5-2 at the Cottage in January, though three of those goals came from the since-departed Clint Dempsey.
However, Jol now has another selection of good strikers to choose from including Dimitar Berbatov, Mladen Petric and Hugo Rodallega, though Bryan Ruiz has been ruled out with injury until the new year.
The London side can be backed at evens to get back to winning ways on Monday night, but given the fact that both have been in poor form of late, there must be a lot of people fancying a draw from this clash.
After all, the two clubs are level on points with identical records of four wins, five draws and six losses from their 15 Premier League games this season and if you like symmetry, you can back a stalemate in this one at a very decent price of 23/10.
However, my personal feeling is that Newcastle will see off Fulham in the same way Spurs did last week, albeit probably by a smaller margin.
Fulham have not scored in their last three games, despite their array of strikers, so Tim Krul and his back line will fancy their chances of keeping a clean sheet.
As my very clever and shameless headline suggests, Demba Ba has almost been carrying the north-east side single-handedly with his goals this campaign and he can be found at 15/2 to score the opening goal on Monday.
Pardew will not want to build up an over-reliance on the Senegalese striker, who has scored ten goals in 2012/13, but with no other Newcastle player scoring more than twice thus far, the supporting cast need to up their game.
Although aided by the sending off of Maynor Figueroa, Newcastle were convincing in their win over Wigan last Monday and rested several key players in the midweek loss at Bordeaux.
As the boys from the Tyne are a team who play on confidence, I expect the momentum of that win over the Latics to push them to a slender win at Craven Cottage at the generous price of 11/4.
Place the free £20 bet you get for signing up to bwin on a Newcastle victory and if Pardew’s men come up trumps, £75 will be your reward.
Follow David on Twitter @whichdave