Belfast Telegraph

Jelavic set for Hull return

Nikica Jelavic should be back for Hull to face Sunderland after the Croatian striker missed the defeat at Stoke on Saturday with a flare-up of his nagging knee problem.

Robbie Brady will also be out after picking up a calf injury in training that is likely to keep him out for some time.

Long-term absentee Mohamed Diame (knee) remains missing from the Tigers squad along with James Chester (shoulder), Liam Rosenior (hamstring) and Robert Snodgrass (knee).

Steve Bruce hopes his side can maintain their recent home form in another game against a team around them in the table.

"Since the turn of the year we've done well at home," said Bruce.

"The Newcastle defeat still rankles with us all but apart from that one, January and February were good for us at home. Let's hope that continues.

"We needed to turn our home form around and we've had three really good wins, so we want the same again on Tuesday night against Sunderland.

"There's no disputing what a big game this is on Tuesday night and the supporters can play their part in it as always. We want to go and get a victory that would be huge for us at this point in the season."

Sunderland head for Humberside without a win in four attempts in the Barclays Premier League and sitting uncomfortably just three points clear of the drop zone in 16th place.

Gus Poyet, who guided the Black Cats to a remarkable escape last season, has no intention of having to repeat those heroics this time around, and has challenged his players to make the most of the clash with the Tigers and the home game against struggling Aston Villa which follows it on March 14.

He said: "It's up to us. The next two games will mark what is going to happen at the end of the season, and it's up to us to go and win both of them and then put some space between us and the bottom three.

"You can't always rely on the other results going for you. That's not the way to look forward."

Poyet will have defender Wes Brown at his disposal after his red card was rescinded.

The 35-year-old was sent off for a foul on Manchester United's Radamel Falcao at the weekend, but the decision has been overturned on appeal, and he could be joined in the squad by defender Billy Jones (ankle) and midfielders Jack Rodwell (groin) and Ricky Alvarez (knock) following their recoveries from injury.

However, winger Will Buckley (knee) remains a doubt, while fellow midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini (ankle) will miss the rest of the season.

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