Hull boss Marco Silva facing defensive crisis ahead of Sky Live EFL Cup tie at Manchester United

Marco Silva looks on during the UEFA Champions League Group F match against Arsenal
Image: Marco Silva is facing a selection dilemma ahead of the trip to Old Trafford

Hull's uphill battle at Manchester United has been made all the more difficult by the defensive crisis facing newly-appointed boss Marco Silva ahead of Tuesday's historic EFL Cup semi-final, live on Sky Sports.

Less than a week after being announced as the surprise successor to Mike Phelan, the 39-year-old is preparing to take the Premier League's bottom side to a team on an eight-match winning streak.

Live EFL Cup

As if facing Jose Mourinho's side was not enough, Silva approaches Hull's first-ever semi-final appearance in the competition with an eye-watering list of defensive issues.

The Portuguese may have got his reign off to a winning start against Swansea, but Saturday's FA Cup third-round tie laid bare their squad deficiencies as Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore ended the 2-0 victory in central defence.

 Harry Maguire scored the opener for Hull
Image: Harry Maguire scored the opener in the EFL Cup win at Bristol City but is a dioubt for Tuesday night

"We finished this game with our backline having a midfielder as a right-back, two midfielders like centre-backs," Silva said, who deployed David Meyler as a makeshift full-back.

"It is not normal at the level where we are. For all these things, for the situation we have in the table, it is very important to give confidence for the people, change the atmosphere here and I think it is important for us."

Regarding Tuesday's match at Old Trafford, Silva added: "I think it's a different challenge.  Okay, it's not a miracle, I believe, and I am sure Man United are favourites but they need to, they want to, prove this in the pitch and we will try to do the same.

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"To get to the final is not easy. Man United is the favourite but we will do our best to be in the final."

Michael Dawson was forced off against Swansea with a shoulder injury that needs assessing, while Harry Maguire is another doubt for a match that fellow centre-backs Curtis Davies and Alex Bruce will miss through injury.

Ahmed Elmohamady's departure for the Africa Cup of Nations and Moses Odubajo's serious knee injury means Meyler may again be deployed at right-back, although on the other flank Josh Tymon and Andrew Robertson are both available.

Madou Barrow of Swansea City battles for the ball with Andrew Robertson of Hull
Image: The new man in charge has made a favourable impression on Andrew Robertson

The latter was one of few to have heard of Silva before his shock appointment at the KCOM Stadium thanks to former Dundee United team-mate Ryan Gauld.

Attacking midfielder Gauld played under the new City boss at Sporting Lisbon and spoke positively about a manager who has made a good early impact on Robertson.

Sky Live: Man Utd v Hull City

Sky Live: Man Utd v Hull City

Full preview and team news for the EFL Cup semi-final first leg at Old Trafford

"My first impressions have been very good," the Scotland left-back said.

"Since the day he came in, it has been a little bit hectic because he came in Thursday and we had the game Saturday.

"He was obviously trying to get his ideas across, we knew he couldn't get them all across by the time Saturday came. We were all realistic.

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Marco Silva talks about Everton's Oumar Niasse and West Ham's interest in Robert Snodgrass.

"He just said to go into it with an open mind and if we do that he can improve it and all the players believe that.

"It's never nice when people lose their jobs, especially the good people who did, unfortunately, but that's the way of the football world. We all know that.

"I suppose we never really had that change under Mick. He kept most of the staff the same - now there is completely new people.

"It is the first time I have ever worked under a foreign manager so it is a wee bit different, but all the players are buying into it.

"All his ideas are coming across well and hopefully we can show that in the coming games."

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