The plot lines are plentiful as the EFL Cup begins its semifinal first legs on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Will Jose Mourinho claim his first big tournament trophy as Manchester United boss? To do so, he’ll need to take down fellow Portuguese manager and “next Mourinho” label earner Marco Silva, who now runs Hull City.
[ MORE: Arsenal’s Zelalem on the move? ]
The first leg is Tuesday at 3 p.m. EDT, with Old Trafford hosting the affair. United has taken 11 of 12 from Hull, though the relegation-threatened Tigers boast an FA Cup win under Silva.
Meanwhile, Jurgen Klopp leads Liverpool into Southampton for another reunion of ex-Saints.
Former Southampton heroes Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, and Nathaniel Clyne could feature for Liverpool, though Sadio Mane is on AFCON duty. It’s a 2:45 p.m. EDT first leg kickoff Wednesday at St. Mary’s.
Saints have won and drawn Liverpool the last two times the Reds marched into their park.
- Hull City has been to one cup final in its recent history, losing to Arsenal in an FA Cup thriller in 2014.
- Manchester United can join Chelsea (5), Liverpool (8), and Aston Villa (5) as the only clubs to win five EFL Cups.
- Southampton is yet to win an EFL Cup, only making one final in 1979.
- Liverpool is the most-accomplished EFL Cup club in history, snaring 8, last winning in 2012.