Geovanni back from ban

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Hull playmaker Geovanni returns from suspension for the Barclays Premier League clash with West Ham but Seyi Olofinjana is doubtful.

Olofinjana suffered a hamstring injury on international duty with Nigeria this week and will be assessed ahead of the game.

Goalkeeper Boaz Myhill (knee) is hoping to return after missing the last two games but is yet to prove his fitness.

Captain Ian Ashbee, sidelined with a long-term knee problem, is the only other absentee.

Hull go into the game at the KC Stadium with spirits lifted after a crucial victory over Stoke in their last outing a fortnight ago.

The Tigers came from behind to win 2-1 and not only pull themselves out of the bottom three, but possibly keep Brown in his job.

Brown's position had been under heavy scrutiny going into the game after just three previous league wins in 2009.

"It was everything we always call for," said Brown. "There was an awful lot of hype and negativity surrounding ourselves and the game and we turned that into a massive positive.

"The response of players and fans was outstanding on the day.

"But taking the heat off? I don't particularly want to make reference to any of that.

"As far as I was concerned it was the type of performance we were looking for.

"Hopefully we can revisit that performance against West Ham."

West Ham welcome back Carlton Cole from injury.

The England striker missed the Hammers' last game, a 2-1 defeat to Everton, with a hamstring problem but is available again to manager Gianfranco Zola.

Forward Alessandro Diamanti (hip) is missing while left-back Herita Ilunga (hamstring) is a doubt, but long-term absentees Kieron Dyer (hamstring), Dean Ashton (ankle) and Luis Boa Morte (knee) remain out.

Zola has issued a firm "hands off" warning to potential suitors of Cole as the England striker prepares for his return to first-team action.

There is speculation Cole, who is the club's top scorer in the league this season with six goals, will leave the Londoners in the January transfer window, with the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool linked with moves for the striker.

Zola, though, insists his chief marksman is happy at West Ham, is going nowhere and that the player's availability will lift his side for what is a crucial match tomorrow at the bottom of the table.

"This year we are scoring more than we did last year so I think we are improving there but we all know Carlton Cole is an important player for this team, not only for his goals but for his presence," the Italian said.

"We are very happy with him and we are going to help him keep scoring the way he is scoring.

"I know Carlton is happy here. I know the club have no intention of selling any of our important players.

"There is a lot of speculation and I know that a lot of messages coming out are not true. I don't want to pay attention to it.

"It's been 13 or 14 months that I've been in charge and it's never stopped."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Carlton Cole
Stoke City
Herita Ilunga
Luis Boa Morte
Premier League
Manchester United
Dean Ashton
Gianfranco Zola
West Ham United
Hull City
Boaz Myhill
Kieron Dyer
Ian Ashbee

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