Sean Davis, who came back from injury to halt Fulham's poor run of form in the Premiership on Saturday, will be looking to accelerate his progression towards the England team with another influential performance against Hertha Berlin tonight.
The England manager Sven Goran Eriksson was at Loftus Road and could not fail to have been impressed as the former England Under-21 midfielder scored one goal and created another in Fulham's 3-2 victory over Liverpool. The match saw Davis's return from a fractured toe, sustained in a draw with Manchester United last month, which was followed by four straight league defeats and a goalless draw at Birmingham City.
Davis's absence badly affected Jean Tigana's side, although they regrouped to beat Croatia's Dynamo Zagreb in the second round of the Uefa Cup, setting up tonight's third-round, first-leg fixture with Hertha at the 55,000-capacity Olympiastadion.
Davis's weekend showing led to speculation that he could join or even replace Liverpool's off-form Steven Gerrard in the England camp in the spring. Davis knows he must deliver against Huub Stevens' side in Germany and against Blackburn on Saturday to stay in Eriksson's thoughts.
"It's very flattering to be likened to Gerrard," he said yesterday. "He's younger than me and has already played in the European Championship and would have gone to the World Cup if it wasn't for injury. He's a great talent and has played at the highest level. Maybe I'll be there one day.
"My main aim is to get consistency as I didn't do too well last season. I had one good game then three bad ones. But I've learnt from that and played well against Liverpool. It was easy to motivate myself against them, but playing well tomorrow or against Blackburn is another thing.
Meanwhile, the pain Barry Hayles is suffering around his neck vertebrae could rule him out for months. The striker is having another fortnight's rest before the club doctors decide if surgery is needed.
Luis Boa Morte is fit after his thigh problem, but Sylvain Legwinski is out with a back injury and Louis Saha is recovering from his hamstring operation.
Hertha, who finished fourth in the Bundesliga last season, beat Aberdeen 1-0 in the first round of the Uefa Cup and the Cypriots Apoel Nicosia 5-0 at the second stage. They are sixth in the league after losing 1-0 at home to Werder Bremen on Saturday, after which head coach Stevens described his side's second-half display as the worst of his reign.
One side of Berlin's Olympiastadion is currently towered over by seven huge cranes as part of renovation ahead of the 2006 World Cup.
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