WILLIE DUNCAN (@Willie_Duncan) looks ahead to Tuesday’s EFL Cup semi-final from Old Trafford between Manchester United and Hull.
Manchester United v Hull | Tuesday 20:00 | Sky Sports 1
I’m happy to admit that I underestimated the might of Manchester United ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup tie against Reading.
I had fully expected a second-string United side to sneak past the Championship side, but Jose Mourinho is a man who loves silverware and, as such, the 53-year-old Portuguese fielded a fairly strong side against Jaap Stam’s men – and, as a result, the hosts romped to a 4-0 win.
Mourinho’s desire to win things does not bode well for Premier League basement boys Hull City, who travel to Old Trafford for the first-leg of their first-ever EFL Cup semi-final.
New man at the helm
Marco Silva is the new man at the helm at Hull, following Mike Phelan’s sudden departure from the club at the start of the year and the former Olympiakos boss made a splash in his first match in charge as the Tigers took care of Swansea City in the FA Cup on Saturday afternoon.
Silva will be looking forward to locking horns with his fellow countryman in this Cup clash, but the smart money is on the wily Mourinho to come out on top again, for his side are in a rich vein of form at present.
Indeed, the victory against Reading on Saturday was an eighth successive win in all competitions for United, who have lost just one of their last 17 matches since suffering a chastening 4-0 defeat against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge back in October.
Red Devils to land killer blow
Mourinho, who began the season with a Community Shield win against Leicester City at Wembley, is a three-time winner of this competition and the men from Manchester can take another significant stride towards a return to the national stadium by building up a healthy advantage against Hull.
The Tigers have been terrible on their travels; they’ve lost each of their last eight matches away from home against top-flight opposition and they’ve only managed a single goal in their last six games away from KCOM Stadium.
The Hammers were, well, hammered when they visited Old Trafford in the last eight and Hull, who have lost three goals in three of their last five games away from home, could suffer another heavy defeat here.
Punters, therefore, are advised to snap up the juicy 6/4 (Stan James) quote for the hosts to win by more than two goals on Tuesday night.
Manchester United v Hull – Manchester United -2 handicap (6/4 Stan James)