Hull City's preparations for their EFL Cup semi-final tie against Manchester United have been boosted by the confirmed availability of latest signing Lazar Markovic. The Tigers, bidding to reach Wembley for the third time in three years, welcome Jose Mourinho's side to the KCOM Stadium on Thursday night (26 January) trailing 2-0 thanks to first-leg goals from Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini at Old Trafford.
Earlier this week, Liverpool outcast Markovic moved to Yorkshire on loan for the rest of the season after mutually agreeing to terminate a disappointing five-month stint with Sporting Lisbon. The potential for a swift high-profile debut hinged on international clearance, which Hull have now gratefully received.
"We can confirm that international clearance has been received for Lazar Markovic and he will be available to face Manchester United," the club tweeted on Wednesday afternoon.
Markovic's lack of regular football in Portugal, where he made only 14 appearances, rather hints that he is likely to be included initially as a substitute against Manchester United.
The former Partizan Belgrade and Benfica winger spoke yesterday of how he hopes to use his time at Hull to prove a point to Liverpool after a frustrating maiden campaign under Brendan Rodgers led to him being dispatched for those loans with Fenerbahce and Sporting.
"I hope that my actions will speak louder than words and I can prove myself to the club and to everyone in English football," he told Hull's official website. "I joined Liverpool when I was very young and have not yet had a long run in the side to show people what I am capable of. I hope to use this loan spell with Hull City to prove myself in the best league in the world because I feel there is lots more to come from me.
"Marco [Silva] convinced me that this was a good move for me and I am very happy to be here. He is a very successful coach from abroad and has started well at this club too. I look forward to working with him and the rest of the staff. Everyone is very confident that we can keep this club in the Premier League and I am looking forward to playing my part this season. We have a good coach and a good squad so we have to be confident of our chances of remaining in the division."