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Preview: Mourinho’s United out to make their first cup final this season

KCOM Stadium, Hull

EFL Cup 2016/17

Thursday 26th January 2017 – KO 19:45 [Live on Sky Sports]

Referee: Jon Moss

Assistant Referees: Marc Perry and Andy Halliday

Fourth Official: Craig Pawson

Manchester United played a solid match against Stoke City but showed woeful composure in front of goal, and now they will look to finish two cup ties before returning to a stretch of Premier League form with utmost importance. With a 2-0 advantage over Marco Silva’s Hull City side, and travelling away, United will not need to worry too much about this tie, but keeping the momentum of this unbeaten run going could prove to be important.

Hull, on the other hand, will feel they were the victims of awful officiating at Stamford Bridge, as they stood a good chance to win the game if the referee correctly disallowed Chelsea’s goal before the point of occurrence and if they were granted a clear and obvious penalty. However, they still failed to win the match, and they’ve been offered a horrible attempt at a moral boost trying to beat Manchester United by three goals.

Anything less than a win for Jose Mourinho’s men would be very alarming, even if the Portuguese manager fielded a youth team, and the game offers almost no promising risk-reward ratio for either side, so this could prove to be one of the dullest encounters of the season so far.

Manchester United Form: DDWWW

Stoke City 1-1 D, Liverpool 1-1 D, Hull City 2-0 W, Reading 4-0 W, West Ham United 2-0 W

Manchester United comfortably won nine games in a row without any real testing, until Liverpool and Stoke City came along and earned important draws. Keep an eye out for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who scored three goals in three starts along this stretch, and Marcus Rashford, who scored two from his two starts in the cup competitions.

Hull City Form: LWLWL

Chelsea 2-0 L, AFC Bournemouth 3-1 W, Manchester United 2-0 L, Swansea City 2-0 W, West Bromwich Albion 3-1 L

Hull City have been admirable compared to usual since new manager Marco Silva took over, and the Portuguese manager’s impressive statistics could be a key factor in pulling a miracle triumph against relegation. Robert Snodgrass looks as sharp as ever, and expect Abel Hernandez to put the ball in the back of the net if he is afforded a scoring opportunity.

Head to Head Record:

Manchester United: 21 victories

Draws: 4

Hull City: 5 victories

Manchester United Top Scorers:

19 – Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 7 – Juan Mata, 6 – Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford, 5 – Wayne Rooney, 3 – Jesse Lingard, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, 1 – Daley Blind, Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini, Own Goal, Ander Herrera, Chris Smalling

Hull City Top Scorers:

9 – Robert Snodgrass, 4 – Michael Dawson, Adama Diomande, Abel Hernández,  2 – Ryan Mason, 1 – Markus Henriksen, Jake Livermore, Harry Maguire, Shaun Maloney, David Meyler, Josh Tymon

Manchester United Squad;

Manager: Jose Mourinho

Goalkeepers: David De Gea, Sergio Romero, Joel Pereira

Defenders: Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling, Daley Blind, Luke Shaw, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Antonio Valencia, Matteo Darmian, Axel Tuanzebe

Midfielders: Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Michael Carrick, Ashley Young, Ander Herrera, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Marouane Fellaini

Forwards: Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford

Injuries and Suspensions: Marcos Rojo (illness)

Hull City Squad:

Manager: Marco Silva

Goalkeepers: Allan McGregor, Dušan Kuciak, Eldin Jakupović, David Marshall, Will Mannion

Defenders: Andrew Robertson, Alex Bruce, Harry Maguire, Curtis Davies, Michael Dawson, Josh Tymon, Brian Lenihan, Josh Clackstone, Harvey Rodgers, Bradley Maslen-Jones

Midfielders: Moses Odubajo, David Meyler, Tom Huddlestone, Robert Snodgrass, Sam Clucas, Jake Livermore, Shaun Maloney, James Weir, Ryan Mason, Ahmed Elmohamady, Daniel Batty, Ellis Barkworth, Greg Olley, Omar Elabdellaoui

Forwards: Abel Hernández, Dieumerci Mbokani, Will Keane, Adama Diomandé, Markus Henriksen, Jarrod Bowen, Greg Luer, Johan Ter Horst, Ben Hinchliffe

Suspensions/Injuries: Ryan Mason (fractured skull), Curtis Davies (hamstring), Robert Snodgrass (muscle), Markus Henriksen (shoulder), Will Keane (ACL), Moses Odubajo (knee), Greg Luer (knee), Alex Bruce (Achilles), Brian Lenihan (knee)

Predicted Starting XI:

Predicted Score:

Hull City 0-1 Manchester United

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