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Coventry City

Preview – Peterborough United v Coventry City (06/03/2010)

The Opposition:

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After a poor start to the season Coventry have put together a string of good results in recent weeks which have seen the ‘Sky Blues’ move up to 10th in the table and emerge as play-off contenders. After losing a host of talented players in pre-season, including Scott Dann and Daniel Fox, to Birmingham and Celtic respectively Coventry were expected to struggle a little this season. After a inconsistent start which saw them stay around mid-table the ‘Sky Blues’ form took a turn for the worse as they went from October 3rd to December 9th without winning a game and dropped perilously close to the relegation zone and are well placed for a late play-off push. The pressure on Chris Coleman grew and many hinted that if Coventry hadn’t beaten Posh that Coleman would have been sacked. However after that win against Peterborough Coventry seemed to gain in confidence have now moved up the table. January saw the ‘Sky Blues’ lose another star player, Leon Best, to Newcastle but brought in Carl Baker from Stockport to replace him after Baker’s impressive form in a struggling side.

Coventry City were founded in 1883 as Singers F.C but changed their name to their current one in 1898. Coventry reached the first division for the first time in 1967 with Jimmy Hill manager at the time. They stayed in the top division for 34 years, until 2001, when they were relegated to the Championship where they have stayed ever since. During this time in the top tier in English football the ‘Sky Blues’ also won their only major trophy to date, the F.A cup, beating Tottenham Hotspur in the final in 1987. In more recent times they moved to their current stadium, the Ricoh Arena, after 104 years at Highfield Road but as a result of the expense of a new ground Coventry missed out on administration, the following season, by 20 minutes when Ray Ranson saved the club taking over as chairman.

The Form Book:

Coventry City have lost just once in their last 8 league games, picking up 4 wins in the process. Away form has been inconsistent for the ‘Sky Blues’ however as they have only won 4 away games all season, losing 9 away from the Ricoh. Coventry’s defence has also looked shaky on the road conceding 27 goals in their 17 games.

Peterborough United have won both home games under Jim Gannon’s management so far, albeit against seemingly lesser opponents in Q.P.R and Ipswich. Posh’s home form hasn’t been too bad in fact this season, if it was only results at home that were taken into account Posh would be outside of the relegation zone after picking up 20 points at London Road.

Last Time Out:

In a thrilling encounter at the Ricoh Arena back in December Coventry came out on top winning 3-2 after a Freddy Eastwood hat-trick. Eastwood opened the scoring after 34 minutes after some sloppy Posh defending from a corner and the story was the same again a minute later after a long throw the former Southend man was left un-marked to head home his second of the match. Posh came flying out of the blocks in the second half and two goals in quick succession from Craig Mackail-Smith restored parity between the two sides with Peterborough looking the most likely winners. However once again a set-piece wasn’t defended well and Eastwood smashed home his third from the edge of the area to relieve the pressure on manager Chris Coleman.

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Key Players:

Coventry City: Freddy Eastwood – The front man will be looking to build on the hat-trick he has already scored against Posh earlier this season. He started his career at West Ham but was sold to Grays Athletic after he was deemed not to be good enough for the London based club. His record in non-league football though was outstanding, scoring 34 goals in 55 games for Grays Athletic, and was enough to see him secure a move into the Football League with Southend. Once again his record was excellent with 49 goals in 111 games and this was what saw him move to Wolverhampton Wanderas for £1.5 million. He found goals hard to come by in the Championship though, scoring just 3 in 31 appearances for ‘Wolves’, and after a season moved to current club Coventry City. His goal-scoring record at Coventry once again isn’t particularly prolific with just 11 goals to his name in a sky blue shirt. Having said this Eastwood is a striker with an eye for goal and blistering pace and with his confidence about playing Posh again, knowing the damage he did in the reverse fixture, it is likely the striker will score more goals against Peterborough if not dealt with properly.

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Peterborough United:  Tommy Rowe – With the departure of George Boyd earlier in the week it is likely that Rowe will be the man moved into his old position on the left wing and all eyes will be on the former Stockport man to see whether he will be a worthy replacement for Boyd. Rowe is a player in favour under Jim Gannon, who gave him his chance in professional football at Stockport, playing every minute of every game since Gannon took the helm at London Road. A good dribbler who is always fully committed he will have to be at his best to live up to Boyd’s very high standards.

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Team News:

Coventry City: Are without defenders Leon Barnett and Richard Wood due to suspension for the former and an injury to the latter. Sammy Clingan is also a doubt after picking up a virus in the week. Ben Turner, Marcus Hall and Aron Gunnarsson are all available again for the ‘Sky Blues’.

Peterborough United: Ryan Bennett remains sidelined after injuring his ankle in training. Exodus Geoghagon is also out with a foot injury. Rueben Reid, Scott Griffiths, Josh Simpson and Kerrea Gilbert are all doubts. Mark Little is set to start, making his debut at right back.

Match Odds (William Hill):

Peterborough – 6/4 Draw – 21/10 Coventry – 6/4

Please leave any comment on the match, predictions or general discussion, below. There will also be a match report, on this page, after the game.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. gavh

    5 March, 2010 at 18:34

    A good start but some bits don’t read quite right in my view. Apart from that fairly good.

    On the game it could well be a tough one, I think this game has a draw written all over it. Don’t no why thats just my thinking, Coventry are steadly making progress up the table, and with Cardiff slipping up, Coventry could well sneak a play-off place.

    For you guys, it’s back to a match at London Road, a place where Gannon has started brightly. Like I said earlier in the week I was shocked to see you loan out Boyd, to be honest you could well struggle to score goals from now on in, meaning that you will most likely get relegated.

    Will be tough for you tomorrow with Coventry building a decent squad, and Peterborough’s home form pretty decent, 1-1 is my prediction.

  2. John Verrall

    5 March, 2010 at 18:37

    I also think that a 1-1 draw is most likely and would be the result that I would choose if I was betting on the game.

    I think that we were always going to get relegated, with or without Boyd, due to the lack of points we picked up under Cooper’s reign. If we had appointed Gannon then instead of Cooper I believe we would have been very close to safety now.

  3. OBM

    5 March, 2010 at 18:53

    Its always interesting to see what line-up and formation Posh are going with, but for this game its absolutely fascinating.

    Whoever plays, its going to be a stern test of Jims organisational abilities, with no outstanding individuals available its going to need a very good team performance if we are to get anything from this game.

    The team is likely to include a number of players fighting for a place in next seasons squad, I wonder who will step up?

    I pedict a 2-1 win to the Posh, and you only have to look at the prediction league to realise my predictions are not to be taken lightly.

  4. Bob Nelsen

    5 March, 2010 at 20:04

    Excellent preview, John. I predict an outstanding career as a sports journalist. This is the type of match City often slip on, especially after a good run such as they’ve been on lately. Your recent good form should prove an excellent test of whether they are in fact playoff contenders. I’ll be up at 7 am here in California (I’m an American-born CCFC supporter by way of marriage dowry), as usual, listening to thre match on the net and I hope you will be successful in your relgation battle — after City, that is. I’m sure it will be an outstanding match tomorrow.

  5. John Verrall

    5 March, 2010 at 21:16

    Thanks Bob 🙂

    It should be quite an interesting game. Gannon will no doubt want us to starve the opposition of possesion by playing the passing game that we have played since he arrived, it often doesn’t create many chances but it certainly makes it more solid at the back.

    Like you say OBM a lot of the players out there may not be seen as regulars next season so it should be interesting to see who steps up.

    I actually am quite suprised to see Coventry doing so well in the league as I didn’t think you played very well at all when we played at the Ricoh Arena but you were low on confidence then and no doubt you have quality in your squad.

    As I say I think a 1-1 draw is likely tommorow.

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