January 9, 2017 9:31:43 pm
Jose Mourinho is preparing to face the man who has been dubbed the “new Jose Mourinho.”
The Manchester United manager will lead his team against Hull on Tuesday in the first leg of the League Cup semifinals. Hull is coached by Marco Silva, a Portuguese manager who has drawn comparisons with Mourinho.
“I’m Marco Silva only,” said Silva, who has been called a “kid friend” by Mourinho.
“He’s a friend also,” Silva said. “All Portuguese coaches are proud of him for what he did before and for me, what he continues to do in his career.”
Hull has been struggling in the Premier League, sitting in last place with only 13 points, while United has won eight consecutive matches and next faces Liverpool in the league on Sunday.
“We play against Liverpool, a big match for us, but we want to be in the (League Cup) final,” Mourinho said. “So we are going to face this Hull match with everything we have, all the power we have, as we know it’s two legs but the second leg is away. If we can do something in the first leg that gives us the advantage, so we will try to do that.”
Liverpool plays at Southampton on Wednesday in the other League Cup semifinal, only days after the team was held to a 0-0 draw by Plymouth in the FA Cup.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has since defended his decision of making 10 changes and fielding the club’s youngest ever starting lineup against Plymouth.
“If you want to see it (the result) in a bad way then I am 100 percent responsible, I have no problem with that,” Klopp said.
Besides the two legs of the League Cup and the match against United, Liverpool also has a replay at Plymouth and matches against Swansea and league leader Chelsea in January.
After resting a number of key players in Saturday’s 4-0 FA Cup win over Reading, Mourinho said he will recall Antonio Valencia, Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic on Tuesday.
Defender Marcos Rojo is a doubt with a muscle injury, however, after coming off in the first half against Reading. United are unable to call on defender Eric Bailly, who is away at the African Cup of Nations.
ROONEY TO WAIT?
With Zlatan Ibrahimovic back in the starting lineup, Wayne Rooney may have to wait for his chance to become Manchester United’s all-time leading scorer after netting his 249th goal for the club against Reading, equaling Bobby Charlton’s milestone.
Southampton, which lost all three of its Premier League games over the holiday period and was held to a 2-2 draw by Norwich in the FA Cup over the weekend, has been hit by a transfer request from captain Jose Fonte.
The Portugal defender was left out against Norwich and it remains to be seen if manager Claude Puel will recall the 33-year-old Fonte.
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