Tuesday 31 January 2017

Match preview: United v Hull City

United and Hull will be sick of the sight of each other as they lock horns for a third time in 23 days at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Despite a second leg defeat last week, United held off the spirited challenge of Marco Silva's struggling but improving Tigers to seal a place in the EFL Cup semi final at Wembley.

A win could lift United to within three points of second place whilst a shock victory for the visitors may see them move out of the bottom three (they currently sit 19th, two points off fourth from bottom Swansea). 

In the second of our back-to-back domestic cup outings, Jose made nine changes in the 4-0 win over Wigan as he utilised the size and strength in depth of the squad at his disposal.

Eric Bailly has returned from AFCON and is available, Anthony Martial and Antonio Valencia will feature and regular starters David de Gea, Paul Pogba, Michael Carrick and Zlatan Ibrahimovic will all come back in. 

Mourinho brushed off transfer speculation surrounding the future of Ashley Young and said the winger is in his plans for the fixture against the Tigers. 

He said:
"No one is leaving the club and no one is coming in to the club so it is finished.
 "I'm happy with my squad and I intend to select Young for tomorrow." 
"The last time we played Hull, we lost and it didn't matter because we still had a good result.
"Even to lose the match by one goal like we did was enough to give us a final.
"This time only three points and a win is good enough, so if we don't win it is really bad.
"That's the big difference - we need to win this time.
"They are playing much better with a new manager, I have spoken before about Marco and we saw last time the problems they can pose us and they didn't deserve to lose to Chelsea so that shows the improvement they've had.

Curtis Davies is out for Hull and top scorer Robert Snodgrass completed his move to West Ham earlier this week but deadline-day loan signing, defender Andrea Ranocchia, is available.
Ahmed Elmohamady is still at the African Cup, while Alex Bruce, Markus Henriksen, Will Keane, Ryan Mason and Moses Odubajo are all sidelined for the injury hit visitors. 

Form guide: United W W D D L W Hull City W L W L W L 
Match odds: United 6/1 Draw 13/2 Hull City 17/5
Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire) 

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