EFL Cup semi-final: Manchester United favourites against Hull City

By: | Published: January 10, 2017 2:40 PM

Manchester United, Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata, EFL Semi-finalWayne Rooney is just one goal away from being the all-time highest scorer for Manchester United. (Source: Reuters)

Manchester United will play Hull City in the mid-week tie with a hope to kill the game in the first leg itself. The Red devils would be hoping to make it to their first final under Jose Mourinho but injuries have made the job trickier for them. With a strong Liverpool side to visit Old Trafford this weekend, Jose Mourinho would ideally want some of his big names to rest but injuries in the defensive department might evade him from that opportunity.

While Curtis Davies, Ahmed Elmohamady and Moses Odubajo were already out with injuries, Michael Dawson was also taken off with a shoulder problem on the weekend. Marcus Rojo is not completely fit for the tie and Eric Bailley is out on international duty with Ivory Coast. This leaves Mourinho with limited defensive arsenal. In the absence of some big names, Phil Jones could be slotted as the defensive partner of Chris Smalling.

Mourinho has already confirmed that Antonio Valencia, Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba and Zlatan Imbrahimovic will start the game but might have a tough time selecting the rest of the team. Abel Hernandez will be a contender to start the game after scoring on the weekend off the bench but there will be a temptation to start with Wayne Rooney who is just one goal away from being the all-time leading scorer for Manchester United.

On the other hand, Hull City will be hoping to produce an upset under their new manager Marco Silva who registered a 2-0 victory against Swansea in his first game in-charge of the premier league side. It will be interesting to see how Mourinho will treat his Portuguese compatriot is also known as ‘mini Mourinho’.

The odds are also in favour of Manchester United who has 11 and lost none of their previous 12 encounters against Hull City in all competitions. The home side is in terrific competition and has won their last five games heading into this tie.

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