Preview: Manchester United v Hull City

Manchester United will aim to close the gap to the Premier League's top four when they host relegation-threatened Hull City on Wednesday.

Premier League
Date: 1 February 2017
Match Day 23
Kick-off: 22H00 (GMT 2)
Venue: Old Trafford

Referee: Mike Jones
Assistants: A Holmes, M Wilkes
Fourth official: S Attwell

Head-to-head summary: 


Manchester United 11 9 1 1 
Hull City 11 1 1 9

Previous encounter: 

Hull City 2-1 Manchester United 26/01/17 (Premier League)

Hull City goalscorers: Tom Huddlestone (pen 35'), Omar Niasse (85')
Manchester United goalscorers: Paul Pogba (66')

Players to watch: 

United have been relying on the educated boot of Zlatan Ibrahimovic this season. The Swede has racked up a staggering 19 goals so far across all competitions and remains the biggest threat to any opponent. Wayne Rooney has gone about his business under the radar, leading the club's assists with 10, while also scoring five times.

Hull have sold their top scorer so far this campaign, Robert Snodgrass, who joined West Ham United, and will look to the likes of Tom Huddlestone to provide solidity in midfield, while Adama Diomande and Abel Hernandez have to produce in front of goal.

Team form and manager quotes: 

The Red Devils were on a 17-game unbeaten run in all competitions before Hull surprised them with a 2-1 defeat in the English Football League Cup last week. United did, however, bounce back quickly from the loss with a comprehensive 4-0 thrashing of Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup. The upcoming clash with the Tigers will be United's third game in only six days.

Speaking to the press about United's fixture congestion, Mourinho said: “Southampton will have 15 days without football before the [EFL Cup] final. In those 15 days we are going to play two matches against Saint-Etienne and the next round of the FA Cup, so the calendar in the best country of world football is nonsense.”

The Tigers have found it difficult to maintain some consistency throughout the season, and in their last seven games they have won three and lost four. Hull's most recent clash saw them beaten 4-1 at the hands of Championship side Fulham in the FA Cup. Should Hull manage to pull off another win over United, they can lift themselves out of the drop zone.

Hull have been ravaged by injuries this season, and currently have eight players on the sidelines. New manager Marco Silva commented on the situation, telling the press: "We need to put more players in our squad to change this situation because it is not easy to play all the games and keep players fresh.

"We need to put quality players in our squad. We need three or four players. We will see what happens. We will try."

Team news: 

Manchester United have a virtually full-strength squad from which to choose, but Ivorian centre-back Eric Bailly is a doubt after picking up a knock to his ankle during his return to action in the U23s clash with Everton on Monday. 

Hull City have a string of players out of contention due to injuries. The most recent additions to the injury list are central midfielders Markus Henriksen and Ryan Mason. Henriksen picked up a shoulder injury on January 10, before Mason suffered a head infury on the 22nd.