The Big Match Preview: - Coventry City (A)
Most bookmakers predicted a mid-table finish for Coventry City before the season began in August but a lot has changed at the football club since the opening day clash at the Coral Windows Stadium. Manager Steven Pressley has been recently dismissed and subsequently replaced by Tony Mowbray and the club have moved back home to the Ricoh Arena after spending time sharing Sixfields Stadium with Northampton Town. Sky Blues fans will have been hopeful for a play-off push but it hasn’t worked out for them and their aim now will surely be to stay clear of the relegation zone.
Ins and Outs
Coventry did a lot of business in the summer, as they looked to rebuild their squad. The likes of Danny Swanson, Shaun Miller, Danny Pugh and Jim O’Brien arrived in the summer but an abundance of loan signings during the season has followed. Simeon Jackson and Marcus Tudgay arrived at the club as well as former Bantams loanee winger Blair Turgott. Attacking loan duo Sanmi Odelusi and Dominic Samuel also arrived at the club from Bolton Wanderers and Reading respectively.
Current League Position
Currently 20th in League One, Mowbray has taken over and his priority will be to make sure the club will be playing their football in this division next season. A point above the drop zone going into Tuesday night’s fixture, no matter what the result, they won’t drop any further down unless Yeovil Town win by a catastrophic amount of goals against Bristol City. Defeat though would leave them in trouble just above a very closely fought relegation zone.
With a crowded fixture schedule, Bantams boss Phil Parkinson may make some changes to the team that were held by Reading at the weekend. Ben Williams is set to start in goal following Jordan Pickford’s return to Sunderland. Andy Halliday, Gary MacKenzie, Francois Zoko, Mark Yeates and Matty Dolan could come into contention for a starting berth.
Tony Mowbray is expected to name an unchanged team, although central midfielder Conor Thomas is nearing a return to action following a spell on the side lines. Reda Johnson, who scored both Coventry’s goals in the reverse fixture, continues to be side lined with a thigh injury.
Last Meetings with Coventry City:
Our last meeting with Coventry was on the opening day of the season and it was a very entertaining five goal thriller with the Bantams coming out on top 3-2. James Hanson steered a header into the far corner to give City the lead but Reda Johnson powered a header past Jordan Pickford for an equaliser before half time. Alan Sheehan’s penalty restored the advantage but an 89th minute goal from Johnson looked to have earned the visitors a point but Hanson scored again, latching onto Jason Kennedy’s cross to register three points.
Coventry’s Recent Form
07/03/15 | Coventry City 2-3 Port Vale | League One | L
03/03/15 | Barnsley 1-0 Coventry City | League One | L
28/02/15 | Coventry City 2-1 MK Dons | League One | W
21/02/15 | Sheffield United 2-2 Coventry City | League One | D
10/02/15 | Coventry City 1-1 Scunthorpe United | League One | D
20 year old frontman Dominic Samuel is currently on loan at Coventry from Championship side Reading. He has impressed at the Ricoh Arena since his arrival and has 4 goals in 5 appearances for the club. The youngster, who has represented England three times at U19 level, turned professional at the Madejski Stadium in 2012 and has had loan spells with Colchester United and Dagenham & Redbridge previously. He hasn’t featured prominently for Reading and has made just two appearances for the club to date.
Ref Watch – Gary Sutton
Lincolnshire based referee Gary Sutton has refereed 26 games so far this season in a mixture of Championship, League One and League Two encounters. The last game he officiated was on Saturday as he oversaw AFC Wimbledon’s 2-1 home victory against York City.
This season, he has dished out 68 yellow cards, which is an average of 2.6 per game. Sutton has brandished three red cards this season, all within a month of each other between October and November.
According to Sky Bet, the Bantams go into this away fixture as favourites and the prices for the match are below. Coventry have picked up 22 points from 17 home fixtures, whilst Bradford have picked up 25 points from 16 away fixtures.
Coventry – 9/5
Draw – 9/4
Bradford – 7/5