Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Manchester United, Jose Mourinho, EFL Cup, League Cup, Hull City
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is expected to start the game against HullReuters

A largely second-string side might have impressed in the FA Cup on Saturday, but Jose Mourinho is expected to name a strong starting XI for the EFL Cup semifinal first leg against Hull City at Old Trafford.

EFL Cup semifinals schedule and TV listings

Manchester United saw off Reading 4-0 in the FA Cup, with Wayne Rooney joining Sir Bobby Charlton at the top of the all-time goalscorers list after opening the scoring. The big question will be if Rooney will start again.

Rooney impressed against Reading, playing behind Marcus Rashford, with the Manchester United captain also getting an assist when he played Anthony Martial through for the second goal.

With a big English Premier League game against Liverpool set to come this weekend, what Mourinho needs to decide is if Rooney will be better suited to start this League Cup semifinal or the Premier League match, or even both.

Sooner or later, Rooney will beat Charlton's record with a 250th strike for Manchester United and the sooner it happens the better it will be for the player.

While the manager was not forthcoming on Rooney's role for the Hull match, he did confirm four players who will start, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera and Antonio Valencia, all rested for the FA Cup encounter, set to be in the starting XI.

"I play with the players that didn't play (against Reading)," Mourinho said after the victory on Saturday. "I played with fresh players and I don't want to say anything about first choice or second choice but we played with fresh players, the players who didn't play against West Ham.

"In the next match against Hull City we are going to play again with fresh players. So it's easy to know our team – Zlatan, Pogba, Herrera, Valencia. The guys that didn't play."

One player unlikely to play is Marcos Rojo after the defender had to be substituted in the first half of the match against Reading. Another centre-back – Eric Bailly – is still on national duty with Ivory Coast for the Africa Cup of Nations.

Hull City also have injury problems in defence, with Michael Dawson and Harry Maguire set to undergo late fitness tests. Curtis Davies, Ahmed Elmohamady, Moses Odubajo, Dieumerci Mbokani Greg Luer and Will Keane are ruled out.

Marco Silva began his career as Hull manager with a win over Swansea in the FA Cup, but the Portuguese will know Manchester United will be a completely different challenge.

Prediction: Manchester United take a 2-0 lead to the KCOM Stadium, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan scoring.

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