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Preview: Blues v Coventry City

The 59th meeting between the two sides presents an opportunity for both to claim this season’s bragging rights.

BCFC

Blues welcome Coventry City to St. Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Sky Bet Championship clash is Blues’ final outing in January and comes ten days after they played Preston North End on home soil. That match was followed by the announcement of Rekeem Harper’s arrival on loan from West Bromwich Albion, with the midfielder available for selection this weekend.

For Coventry, the game comes on the back of another visit to B9 as the tenants overcame Sheffield Wednesday midweek.

And the 59th meeting between the two sides presents an opportunity for both to claim this season’s bragging rights after the reverse fixture ended goalless in November.

Victory for Aitor Karanka’s team over the Sky Blues this weekend would be the first in the league since August 2011, with the two club’s having met only five times in the years that have followed. Three of these matchups have come in domestic cup competitions, including Blues’ memorable penalty shootout success in the Emirates FA Cup last February.

THE OPPOSITION: 

Coventry City are back in the Championship after spending eight seasons away. Their time outside the second tier was ended when they were crowned Sky Bet League One champions last summer on a points-per-game basis. At the time the season was suspended the Sky Blues held a five-point lead at the top of the table.

This was Coventry’s second promotion in three seasons under the management of Mark Robins who is approaching the four-year mark in his second spell managing the club. The first of these ended in 2013 before the former striker returned to the hot seat in March 2017 and instantly led the Sky Blues to glory in the Checkatrade Trophy final at Wembley.

The current campaign has seen Robins’ men struggle for consistency, having been unable to record back-to-back victories. They did, however, put an eight-game unbeaten run together - which started with the stalemate against Blues - and have not gone more than two games without earning a point.   

Half of their matches during this streak saw clean sheets recorded, with Dominic Hyam being a mainstay of Coventry’s rear-guard action. The Scottish defender has recorded 19 tackles and 43 interceptions this season.

Offensively, joint top scorers Gustavo Hamer and Matthew Godden have hit nearly a third of the team’s goals, with the former also recording two assists. Teammate Callum O’hare has been an ever-present in the league, finding the net twice in the process and the Solihull-born midfielder also laid on both goals in their recent victory over Sheffield Wednesday.

LAST TIME OUT: 

Blues were narrowly beaten at home by Preston in tricky conditions earlier this month. Ivan Sanchez drew a fine save from the visitor’s goalkeeper before the break and Blues showed they were capable of beating the play-off chasers. But after half-time the Lilywhite’s struck through Scott Sinclair and, as conditions worsened, Karanka’s team were just unable to add the finishing touch when chances presented themselves to take something from the game.

In contrast, Coventry were victorious last time out as they beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 and extended their unbeaten home run in the league to eight matches. Loanee Viktor Gyokeres opened the scoring just before the hour before substitute Jamie Allen sealed the win when he beat Kieran Westwood in the 90th minute.

WE MEET AGAIN:  

Coventry City 0 Blues 0, 20 November 2020

Blues will be looking to go one better when they take on Coventry for the second time this season.

The initial meeting, also at St. Andrew’s, saw Blues come closest to claiming all three points in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

Former Coventry forward Lukas Jutkiewicz thought he had broken the deadlock in the second-half, only for a combination of goalkeeper Marko Marosi and the crossbar to deny him.

A draw signalled the third time the pair could not be separated after 90 minutes in 2020 after both FA Cup meetings ended level after normal time earlier in the year.

BLUES TEAM NEWS: 

Zach Jeacock (ankle) and Caolan Boyd-Munce (thigh) are out through injury. 

HEAD-TO-HEAD: 

Blues wins: 24

Draws: 17

Coventry City wins: 17

LAST FIVE MEETINGS: 

Championship 20 Nov 2020 – Coventry City 0 Blues 0

FA Cup 04 Feb 2020 – Blues 2 Coventry City 2 AET (4-1 on penalties)

FA Cup 25 Jan 2020 – Coventry City 0 Blues 0

League Cup 28 Aug 2012 – Coventry City 3 Blues 2

Championship 10 Mar 2012 – Coventry City 1 Blues 1

BLUESTV: 

Supporters can watch this game exclusively live on BluesTV for only £10.

MATCH OFFICIALS: 

Referee: Geoff Eltringham

Assistant Referees: Adrian Waters and James Wilson

Fourth Official: Peter Wright

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