Manchester United and Hull City will lock horns in the semifinals of the EFL Cup tonight at Old Trafford.
After a slow start, Jose Mourinho obviously found the right formula as the Red Devils recorded eight successive victories in all competitions, six of them being in the Premier League. Despite that good streak they’re still sitting in the sixth place, but with only five points behind second-placed Liverpool whom they host on Sunday in the derby of the 21st round.
Mourinho’s troops have scored 18 goals in those eight games, but conceded just three times and look like they’re ready to be included in the race for the Champions League spots.
Mourinho highlighted they want to secure the EFL Cup final before the game: “We play against Liverpool, a big match for us, but we want to be in the final. So we are going to face this Hull match with everything we have, all the power we have, as we know it’s two legs but the second leg is away. If we can do something in the first leg that gives us the advantage, so we will try to do that.”
On the other side, Hull City are on a streak of their own as they’re winless in the last nine Premier League games, losing six of them. That negative streak was fatal for Mike Phelan who got sacked and was replaced with Marco Silva.
The British media are already comparing Mourinho and Silva due to some similarities in their managerial style and career paths, but Silva rejects those comparisons.
The 39-year-old had a successful debut against Swansea in the FA Cup, but knows this game will be much different: “Tomorrow is not the best game to try and improve in but we will try because my players have a dream of playing in the final.”
- Man Utd have won 11 and lost none of their last 12 matches against Hull City in all competitions (D1).
- Hull City have won only once in their history against Man Utd at Old Trafford (D2 L12) – winning 2-0 in the FA Cup in January 1952.
- Man Utd have reached the League Cup semi-final for the 14th time; only Liverpool (17) have made more.
- In contrast, this is the first time that Hull City have reached the League Cup semi-final.
- The Red Devils have lost only one of their last 25 home League Cup games against fellow top-flight sides (W23 D1), losing 2-1 against Chelsea in January 2005.
- The Tigers have found the back of the net in each of their last 15 games; their longest scoring streak in League Cup history.
Jose Mourinho has pledged to recall his big guns for the visit of Hull City and already confirmed Ibrahimovic, Pogba and Herrera in the lineup. Rojo is a doubt due to muscle problem, while Bailly is with his national team at the African Nations Cup.
On the other side, Silva has a lot of problems with injuries of his players as he can’t count on Bruce, Keane, Davies and Lenihan, while Dawson and Maguire are highly doubtful.
Manchester United: de Gea; Valencia, Jones, Smalling, Darmian; Pogba, Herrera; Mkhitaryan, Rooney, Martial; Ibrahimovic.
Hull City: Marshall; Meyler, Livermore, Huddlestone, Robertson; Snodgrass, Clucas, Mason, Diomande; Henriksen; Hernandez.
Date: 10 January 2017
Time: 21:00 CET
Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester, England
Referee: Kevin Friend