New Hull City manager Marco Silva started his stint with a comfortable win over Swansea City last Saturday as they progressed into the fourth round of the FA Cup. His next mission, however, will be humongous as he takes his boys to Old Trafford in the first leg of the EFL Cup semi-finals and a positive result here will definitely cement his place at the club.
Quite unlike their form in the domestic league, where the Tigers have squandered points and are currently dwelling at the bottom of the table, they have done surprisingly well in Cup competitions, EFL Cup and the FA Cup.
They have defeated the likes of Newcastle United and Stoke City on their way to the semis and they have a real chance at Old Trafford, where Mourinho is bound to rest his key players as they face Liverpool in the weekend’s Premier League fixture. The Tigers have a comparatively easier fixture against Bournemouth, but then, when you’re towards the bottom, no fixture can be easy.
Silva, surely, will come out all guns blazing and would be aiming for a draw primarily. And it isn’t something of an uphill task considering the likes of Burley and West Ham United already achieved that feat earlier this season.
We expect Silva to go with a defensive approach into the game and a five-man defence, which has proved successful for the Tigers before, is likely to be deployed by the Portuguese manager.
David Marshall has been the best for Hull under the bar and he will have to come up with something magical to keep his team in the game until the last minute. Goalkeepers magically turn into superhumans at Old Trafford as we have seen with the likes of Heaton and Randolph.
Michael Dawson will have a huge task of keeping the right mentality at the back, where most of the game will be played. Harry Maguire and Curtis Davies will start at the centre alongside Dawson. The centre-backs expected to be flanked by Sam Clucas and Elmohamady. Maguire and Davies couldn’t feature against Swansea as they were out with hip and hamstring injuries respectively, but we expect them to shake it off before the crucial game.
Tom Huddlestone was fabulous against Swansea City as the sole anchorman. We expect Jake Livermore to partner him in the middle of the park this time to provide a further cushion to the highly beefed up defence and he will have the job of providing passes from the deep.
Robert Snodgrass has been Hull’s best player this season and he is expected to start in the number 10 role and will provide all the crucial passes up front for the strikers to make something of.
The return of Abel Hernandez was a huge boost for the Tigers and he made it all the more important with a goal to break the deadlock. Adama Diomande will start alongside him up front.
Elmohamady – Davies – Dawson – Maguire – Clucas
Livermore – Huddlestone
Hernandez – Diomande