Nicky Mellon’s Tranmere Rovers side have endured a testing start to life back in League One beginning the season with back-to-back defeats; a 3-2 loss against Rochdale and a 2-0 defeat at Portsmouth.
In contrast, Grant McCann’s new Hull City side have made a steady start to their Championship campaign; they tasted defeat on the opening day away at Swansea City, but made amends by picking up all three points at home to Reading in McCann’s first game at the KCOM Stadium.
With consolidation the least that’s expected from both of these sides league campaigns in retrospect, a Carabao Cup adventure is one that will be welcomed as a stepping stone to build momentum in the league.
Last season, Hull City endured a Carabao Cup campaign to forget, despite narrowly beating Sheffield United on penalties in the first round, they were handed a 4-0 drubbing by Derby County in the second round played in front of a record low crowd at the KCOM Stadium.
With a chance to make some wholesale changes and reward the new signings with their first start, Hull City will be hoping to emulate the cup heroics of 2017 which saw them eventually bow out to Manchester United in the semi-final.
In contrast, Tranmere, who returned to league cup action last year following their promotion to League Two, will be hoping to make an improvement on their first round exit last season when they fell to a 3-1 home defeat to Walsall.
Mellon is expected to make changes to his Tranmere side following their disappointing start to life back in League One.
Rover’s will be without key personnel as they attempt to reach the second round of the Carabao Cup for the first time in six years.
Jake Caprice (ankle) and Mark Ellis (knee) remain sidelined, whilst long-term absentee Evan Gumbs is recovering from a cruciate ligament injury.
With a full squad to choose from, Grant McCann has not had to deal with any fresh injury concerns; the recently acquired Callum Elder from Leicester City is suffering a slight knock.
Whilst new striker Josh Magennis is returning to full fitness after he endured a lack of action in pre-season at Bolton Wanderers.
Hull City are expected to rest key personnel and award a number of new recruits an opportunity to impress.
Star men Kamil Grosicki and Jarrod Bowen aren’t expected to feature, unless needed.
Whilst McCann will be looking to award first team starts to four new signings; Josh Bowler, Ryan Tafazolli, Matthew Pennington and Leandro Lopes.
What the managers had to say
After tasting defeat to Portsmouth, Nicky Mellon has urged his side to be more composed and deliver more consistency in their performances.
“I spoke to the lads and I said we have to improve on our consistency and our performance in a game. At times we showed good moments but the game carries on and we still have to be better,” he said post-match.
Grant McCann believes that his beefed-up Hull City squad can handle the rigours of a cup competition, there is no intention of an early exit.
“At the start of the season when I sat down with the boys I outlined what we want to achieve. Having a cup run was the one of things I asked for,”
Despite Tranmere’s poor start to the season, he has reiterated that the opposition should be respected given the success that the club has reaped in recent times.
“It’s never easy going to Prenton Park.”
“They’ve got a real winning mentality there and it’ll be a tough game for us,” McCann told Hull Daily Mail.
Following his sides first win of the season, McCann was impressed with both sides of the game; a classy first half and a dogged second, earned his side all three points.
“We were excellent in the first half in terms of our pressing and our energy, our appetite and our bite and in terms of creating chances. We probably could have been three or four goals up at half time,” the Hull boss said.