The Sky Blues are back at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday as they look to extend their home form against Shrewsbury. Last week’s 2-1 reverse at Bury was a dissapointing result for Mowbray but him and his players will be determined to bounce back with another victory on home soil.
With the Sky Blues being one of only two teams who didn’t have a fixture on Tuesday night, other results saw them drop out of the playoff positions. City’s motivation will undoubtedly be to jump back in to the top six slot but the Shrews won’t be pushovers by any means.
Coventry City have been in mixed form recently after getting off to a flying start. Despite sitting top of the league at one point, their form has took a minor tumble but they still sit in a very respectable 7th place with a game in hand.
In their last 5 outings, Mowbray’s team have won 2, drew 1 and lost 2 which has handed them 7 points from a possible 15. The Sky Blues have been firing in front of goal however, Adam Armstrong leads the way with 6 but the total amount of goals scored in League One amounts to 16.
Shrewsbury have been in relatively fine form in their last 5 fixtures as they’ve picked up 3 wins and 2 losses to give them 9 points from a possible 15. After a shaky start to life back in the third tier, Micky Mellon’s side have started to find their feet.
With consolidating in the division being the prime target for the Shrews, it’s so far so good despite some poor results as they sit in 16th place with a total of 11 points to their name. After winning 2 of their last 3 away fixtures, they’ll be in confident mood going in to the Coventry game.
The Sky Blues will still be without influential midfielder James Maddison and defender Jordan Willis. Despite both being sidelined for a lengthy spell, Mowbray has revealed their respective recoveries are going well and they could be back before Christmas.
Everybody else in the squad is in contention for a starting berth, although Lee Burge could be replaced by Reice Charles-Cook in between the posts. The aforementioned has been hit by a sickness bug that has plagued the squad over the last week and a late decision will be made as to whether he features or not.
The Shrews have a fully fit contingent of players to choose from as they look to avenge the defeat away at Rochdale. Goalkeeper Jayson Leutwiler could come back in to the starting eleven at the expense of Mark Halstead as the preferred keeper has recovered from a back problem.
Jermaine Grandison could also feature after missing out in their last few fixtures. Micky Mellon has a tendency to experiment with formations and he could ring a few changes for this game.
One to watch – James Collins
James Collins is a player that Coventry City fans will be familiar with as we tried to sign him a couple of years ago. The striker, born in Coventry, will be determined to enjoy a fruitful day back in his hometown. After a season in Scotland, he moved back to Shrewsbury in 2014 for his second spell at the club.
He proved to be an integral part of the side which won promotion from League Two last term and he chipped in with a number of goals. They’ve been harder to come by so far this campaign but he still has 4 to his name, the City back line will have to be on guard to deal with has pace and power.
“Shrewsbury have some very dangerous and fast players. I watched them this week and we will have to be at their best. They were three down inside 15 minutes at Rochdale but pulled two back before half-time and played very well in the second half.”
“The goals we have been losing of late have been a wide free kick and penalty, not many from open play. The stats don’t suggest teams are peppering our goal away from home where I feel we’ve defended quite well. It’s just concentration levels from set-plays.
“If anything it’s at the other end that if we’d stuck the ball in the back of the net more the defence wouldn’t be an issue.”
View from the opposition:
“We’ll have a look at that as we go on because we want the players to be as fresh as we can.”
“There’s no doubt playing so many games in such a short time has an effect on players – it’s scientifically proven.”
“We’ll see that maybe someone’s not quite covering the grass as they should and we’ll use the squad if we can.”
After the manner in which we were defeated last weekend I expect a bit of a backlash on Saturday. Supporters and players alike would have been devestated by some awful decisions and maybe a sense of injustice and ill fortune has resonated around the squad.
There’s no doubt that we created enough chances to salvage a point or even win that game, it’s now up to whoever is on the pitch to get a result this time around. After suffering a frustrating loss, you want to get back on the pitch as soon as possible and this is a chance to get back to winning ways and keep up our pursuit of the top six.
Shrewsbury are a decent side however and they have only been beaten once this season on their travels. They have a knowledgable manager in Mellon and he’ll set up to thwart the Sky Blues, if they do manage to restrict our strikers then they pose a threat themselves going forward.
Prior to the season kicking off I put the Shrews as a bottom four team in my preview, they’ll be determined to avoid a relegation scrap. Some reasonable form has seen them climb up the table but they are a side we should really be beating, if we perform to our best then I can’t see past a City win.
My score prediction:
Coventry City 2-1 Shrewsbury Town