Bolton Wanderers Vs Hull City, Tue 29 Dec 2009

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Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba is available again for the Barclays Premier League match against Hull on Tuesday at the Reebok Stadium.

Muamba was forced to sit out the 1-1 draw against Burnley on Boxing Day as he was sidelined through suspension.

Midfielder Gavin McCann again looks likely to miss out as he is still suffering from an ankle injury.

Kevin Davies insists Bolton have reasons to be optimistic.

The club captain believes they are on the mend and ready to climb out of the relegation zone.

Bolton are looking to stretch their unbeaten run to four games after beating West Ham and drawing with Manchester City and then Burnley at the weekend.

Davies said: "We have got a lot going for us at the minute. We need to make sure that we continue to work hard against Hull in what is going to be a difficult match.

"We have given some really good and strong performances in recent matches. We were unfortunate not to beat Manchester City, having taken the lead on three occasions.

"But we got the win we deserved against West Ham. Even when they got it back to 1-1, we kept our heads up and finished off the game in style.

"Then we picked up another point at Turf Moor against a really tough Burnley side. Now, it's up to all of us to maintain that level for our match against Hull."

Davies may have scored only two league goals this season but he is pleased with his side's overall tally of 24 from 17 top-flight games.

Defender Gary Cahill is joint top scorer with Ivan Klasnic as they have five apiece while Matt Taylor has weighed in with four following his superb free-kick at Turf Moor.

Davies said: "We have scored in pretty much every game we have played this season and we always look a threat going forward.

"Ivan is scoring goals, Chung-Yong Lee is a threat and so is Matty with his set-pieces."

Bolton have not kept a clean sheet in the league this season, however, and were grateful to goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen at Burnley as he made a string of fine saves.

Davies added: "We are still looking to defend a bit better as a team and cut out mistakes."

Hull have a number of fitness concerns.

Defenders Paul McShane and Steven Mouyokolo are both still troubled by the hamstring injuries that ruled them out of Monday's defeat by Manchester United.

Geovanni (knee) and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink (shoulder) both suffered injuries in the 3-1 loss and will be assessed.

Midfielder Seyi Olofinjana is available after being given permission by Nigeria to delay his departure for the African Nations Cup but Gabon striker Daniel Cousin has left for the tournament in Angola.

Hull boss Phil Brown has no doubts his team will hit the ground running when they arrive at Bolton.

The struggling Tigers face a quick turnaround as they travel to the Reebok Stadium little more than 48 hours after a frenetic loss to United.

But after causing considerable problems for the champions, Brown is convinced spirit will overcome any fatigue in the crunch clash against the Trotters.

Brown said: "The programme has been highlighted by a number of managers and a number of clubs but I think the more congestion, the more success you are having. I want more congestion.

"My old mate Sam (Allardyce), when we were together at Bolton, always questioned the physiological side of two games in three days.

"I agree with him - it is very difficult - but when the spirit in the camp is good and the players are just desperate to play, it would be difficult, given the level of performance against Manchester United, to make too many changes.

"What we take from that is joy and a lot of pride in the performance and commitment the players showed.

"We need to take that into this game. We are going there with a group of players that are very highly motivated at the state of play and cause of Hull City this season."

With Hull and Bolton together in the bottom three on 17 points, the match is crucial for both clubs.

Hull may feel victory is imperative given that the fixture comes after a run of just two points in five games and ahead of daunting clashes against Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester United again.

Hull have also played twice more than Bolton but Brown, while not losing sight of the game's importance, wants to keep things in perspective.

The former Bolton full-back said: "I'm not going beyond the Bolton game. We are focusing all our attention on the Reebok Stadium."

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

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Daniel Cousin
Ivan Klasnic
Chung-Yong Lee
Jussi Jaaskelainen
Bolton Wanderers
Matt Taylor
Premier League
Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink
Steven Mouyokolo
Fabrice Muamba
Paul McShane
Gavin McCann
Gary Cahill
Hull City
Kevin Davies

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