Andy Carroll
Cole form could keep Carroll out.

Carlton Cole's recent form could keep Andy Carroll out of West Ham United's starting line-up despite the England striker returning from suspension, Sam Allardyce has explained.

The former Newcastle United striker is once again available for selection after serving a three game ban after being sent off against Swansea City.

After picking up three points against the Welsh club, the Hammers embarked on a superb run of form, winning their next three games and conceding just once in Carroll's absence.

Cole has deputised admirably in his place and although Allardyce has backed his returning striker for a space in England's World Cup squad, he is unsure whether he will displace Cole when his side travel to Goodison Park on Saturday.

"It's a tough decision over Andy based on Carlton's performance last week, so I'll make that decision tomorrow," Allardyce told a press conference.

"Now Carlton is back in top condition he's produced more goals than he did last season. Our goal scoring has been good recently.

"We'll need all the confidence and ability we've shown recently to get a result at Everton."

Although Kevin Nolan has spear-headed West Ham's hunt for goals with five in his side's four game winning streak, the presence of Cole benefited the club's reversal in fortunes that sees them sat 10<sup>th, seven points clear of the relegation zone.

Despite not making his first appearance of the season until January, Carroll remains in the frame for Roy Hodgson's England squad. The 25-year-old 's last appearance for the Three Lions came against San Marino in October 2012 but his club manager sees little reason for him not to make the cut.

"If Andy ends the season as well as he did last year there shouldn't be any problems about him being in the final squad for Brazil," Allardyce added.

Persistent injury has ensured Carroll's nine England caps have been scattered across three years and the striker recently revealed that he would be 'devastated' to miss out on the trip to Brazil.

"Of course the World Cup is massive and everybody wants to be involved," Carroll told the Mirror last month. "It's in my head and there is still a chance for me to go (to Brazil) and I'd be devastated if I miss out, to be honest."