After last weekend’s last gasp victory over Fleetwood Town at Higbury Stadium, the Sky Blues are on home soil on Saturday as they host Blackpool. On paper it’s another game that looks routine. The Tangerines will be determined to ensure this isn’t the case, however.
With the Sky Blues’ three points pushing them further in to the upper echelons of League One, supporters will be expecting another victory to close the gap on top spot. The highest attendance of the season thus far is expected at the Ricoh Arena, Mowbray’s side will be hopeful of another entertaining display.
The Sky Blues will be in confident mood after the victory over the Cod Army saw them remain in 5th position, just a win away from the summit of the table. An undefeated record at the Ricoh is still intact, the players will undoubtedly work hard to send another visiting team home disappointed.
In the last 5 games, Coventry have recorded an admirable 3 wins and 2 losses (one of which came via penalties in the JPT tie versus Yeovil). City possess one of the meanest defences in the division and Reice Charles-Cook has kept 3 clean sheets in succession.
Blackpool are a side that have struggled to have an impact on League One so far and they currently sit in a lowly 22nd place. After last season’s relegation from the Championship, off-field turmoil is still running rife at a club that was in the Premier League just five seasons ago.
After starting this season in terrible fashion, recent form has allowed Neil McDonald’s side to climb off the bottom of the division. In their last 5 fixtures they’ve picked up 3 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss, progressing in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy in their last outing. The Seasiders have won their last 2 league fixtures and they’ll be in confident mood on Saturday.
Coventry City will still be without James Maddison and Jordan Willis for the weekend’s clash. Joining them on the injury table is Ivor Lawton, the midfielder picked up a serious knee injury whilst playing for the Under 21’s in midweek and he’s been ruled out for the rest of the season.
Mowbray will welcome Bryn Morris, Adam Armstrong and Ryan Kent back in to his side after the trio represented England in their respective age groups. The latter pair both scored for the Three Lions whilst Morris captained his side. They will all subsequently be in confident mood ahead of the fixture, although Mowbray may decide to rest them.
The Tangerines have a healthy bill of players to select from as they look to move further up the league standings. McDonald is expected to make up to eight changes from the side that beat Port Vale in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
One player that definitely won’t be featuring, however, is Liverpool loanee Lloyd Jones who has been ruled out for a lengthy period. Blackpool didn’t play last weekend due to a number of players being on international duty, they will be subsequently fresh but we’re yet to see whether this break will be of any benefit.
One To Watch – Mark Cullen
The striker finished as Luton’s top scorer in League Two during the 2014/15 campaign and Blackpool pursued their interests to sign him in the summer. On the opening day of the current season, Cullen scored twice in a 2-2 draw with Colchester but his form dipped soon after.
Following a nine-game spell without finding the net, the forward has excelled again recently with 2 goals in his last 2 appearances. With pace and persistence forming a huge part of his game, he will be looking to extend his scoring run when his side travel to the Midlands this weekend.
“They have an experienced man in charge. They have a lot of new faces but some good players and the fact they won the last three is a sign they are moving in the right drection. We have to be mindful of that. They’ll be on a positive vibe.”
“They’re team looking to push on. They had a rest last weekend so had a long time to prepare before playing us. Their manager was at our game at the weekend so they will definitely be coming up with a game plan and have had plenty of time to organise and prepare.”
“It’s encouraging to find a level of consistency at home but every team brings a different problem and provides a different nut to crack.”
View From The Opposition – Neil McDonald
“I’m really pleased, especially after the first five games where we only picked up a point. We’ve picked 10 up from our last six though so we’ve got a bit of form and consistency, we have to try and keep that going for as long as we can.”
“I went to have a look at their game (versus Fleetwood), they’re a very good footballing team, there was a couple missing due to international call-ups. They’re in the top six and we haven’t taken anything from a top six team now but we’re full of confidence going in to the game at a big stadium.”
In our last game we showed another dimension to our game as we were persistent to come away with a victory. We played some attractive football and probably deserved the full monty, which was very pleasing considering our absentees.
This weekend, I’m with many others in the fact I’m expectant of another three points. Blackpool’s recent form has shown they are improving – especially their win against Swindon – but we should have enough to get past them.
With Armstrong and Kent both returning, that gives us added firepower and I can see us scoring a few goals if we create enough opportunities. Their defence isn’t the strongest but they are capable on their day going forward, we have to be wary of that. The lack of match practice last weekend would perhaps be a hinderance though as their momentum has been somewhat tarnished.
All in all though, I think we will win this game. Our home form is impeccable and I can’t see our run being halted by the Tangerines. I wish them all the best for the rest of the campaign both on and off the field, but I can’t see them getting anything on Saturday. We’ve been threatening to win by a big margin on home soil, could this be that occasion?
My Score Prediction
Coventry City 4-1 Blackpool