After last Sunday’s courageous victory over Burton Albion, the Sky Blues will aim to jump clear of the next hurdle at Glanford Park on Saturday as Mark Robins’ Scunthorpe United await. It proved to be a tricky fixture last season as The Iron defeated what was then Steven Pressley’s side and it proved to be a turning point in Coventry’s fortunes as they tumbled down the league standings.
It’s a new era now though for the Midlands club and Tony Mowbray has built what looks like a solid squad. Optimism is rife within the fan base and supporters will be expectant of three points, as long as we don’t capitulate like last term’s away encounter I’ll be happy. All the pointers suggest it will be an entertaining encounter, the Sky Blues are playing some stunning football whilst Scunthorpe will be desperate to kickstart their season after an uninspiring opening set of results.
Scunthorpe United go in to the game on the back of a 1-0 defeat against struggling Blackpool. That defeat saw them drop to 19th position in League One as they have only amassed 5 points from their opening six fixtures.
In their last five games they endured a winless streak, only managing two draws and three defeats. You have to go back to the 15th of August to find their last win as they defeated a struggling Crewe side on home territory.
The Sky Blues have started the campaign in magnificent fashion and their form contrasts significantly to that of Scunthorpe. Mowbray’s men have earnt 13 points and sit comfortably in 2nd place, they are also top scorers in the division with 14 goals.
Looking back at the last five encounters, Coventry have won 3, drew 1 and lost 1 to the supporters’ delight. The defeat against Walsall is the only reverse score line that the Sky Blues have been on the end of in the league and they’ll be doing everything they can to avoid slipping to defeat on Saturday.
The Iron will be without Luke Williams and Niall Canavan for the clash as they are ruled out with knee and ankle injuries respectively. Stephen Dawson and Neal Bishop are also doubts due to injury but Robins will hope the pair will be fit enough to be involved.
The rest of the squad will be looking to earn a starting spot as changes are expected to the lineup that lost against Blackpool last week. Jamie Ness is also returning to fitness and he could be in contention for a place.
Scunthorpe United expected lineup:
Coventry City are still without James Maddison and Jordan Willis as both remain long term absentees. Jack Finch also joins them on the injury table but Mowbray bolstered his attacking options on Thursday with the signing of Ryan Kent on loan from Liverpool.
Conor Thomas is back to full fitness and he’ll be fighting for a place in the side and Aaron Phillips also returns from illness. It’s yet to be seen whether Sam Ricketts will remain at right-back where he performed admirably against Burton or whether he’ll be switched back in to the more central defensive berth where he has predominantly featured so far this season.
Coventry City expected lineup:
One to watch – Paddy Madden
The striker is well established in the third tier of English football and his goalscoring abilities provide a threat for any opposition. Whilst his team may have endured a below-par opening to the season, he has excelled on a personal level to give supporters hope.
His pace and movement have caused teams problems thus far this season and he has notched 3 goals in 6 league appearances. We can expect him to be hungry to propel his side to maximum points at the weekend and City’s defensive line will have to be on top of their game to deal with him.
View from the dugout:
“I think you have to be wary of every team. We’ve studied them as we do all the opponents and put a game plan together.”
“His team will play football and be expansive. They need to get back to winning ways. There are still 40 games to go and I’m sure they’ll be all right. We will be mindful of their strengths but play our own game.”
View from the opposition:
“They’re a good team, well organised and scoring a lot of goals. Tony Mowbray’s got them playing pretty well and they look quite a solid unit.”
“It’s going to be another tough game, but they came here last year with quite a good reputation and we beat them. So that’s what we’ll be looking to do again.”
This is undoubtedly a game that we should win with our current group of players, confidence is high and we’ve playing some really tidy stuff. Will it be an easy task though? No, no football match is easy.
As I’ve said previously, the home side will be gunning for three points to shift some of the negativity from around Glanford Park. With rumours circulating that Mark Robins could potentially be axed if his side taste defeat, he’ll be doubly determined to ensure that doesn’t happen, as will his group of players.
In my League One preview I placed Scunthorpe in 5th position, I do happen to think they are a good side. Granted, they’ve got off to a horrendous start but we can’t get complacent or we could come unstuck. They have got enough quality in their squad to cause us problems and we’ve got to be wary of that. I’m sure we will be as Mowbray reinforces that every team poses a challenge, it’s just whether we can deal with it on the day.
On current form and confidence levels, we will be the firm favourites despite playing away from home. I think this will play a part in the game and if we reach the heights of Millwall again, we should have no problems making it two wins on the bounce.
If Scunthorpe do sit in a defensive formation and allow us time on the ball I think they could be in for a long day. With the addition of Ryan Kent and the return of Adam Armstrong we have a bolstered front line, Marcus Tudgay will be in positive mood after scoring last weekend too. Be fearful Scunny!
My score prediction…
Scunthorpe United 0-2 Coventry City