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Preview: Coventry City vs. Birmingham City - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's Championship fixture between Coventry City and Birmingham City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Coventry City and Birmingham City return to Championship action on Friday night on the back of two successive defeats.

While the Sky Blues sit one point above the relegation zone, their opponents have dropped down to 17th position after losing at home to Wycombe Wanderers and Bournemouth.


Match preview

Coventry City manager Mark Robins pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Mark Robins will have taken heart from plenty of Coventry's displays this season, particularly during their 3-2 reverse at Watford before the international break.

However, four defeats from five games have left his side just one point above the drop zone and two ahead of bottom-placed Derby County, a scenario which has also not been helped by Sheffield Wednesday seeing their points deduction reduced from 12 to six.

That recent development could act as the catalyst when it comes to a number of sides at the lower end of the standings upping their performance levels, and Robins will be confident that that will occur with his team on Friday evening.

Half of their 12 league goals this season have been scored in their most recent three outings, with those strikes being shared among five players.

Nevertheless, Coventry have conceded 13 times in five matches, a record which must improve as soon as possible if they are to move back into the group of clubs directly above them.

As for Birmingham, Aitor Karanka and his squad will head to the away dressing room on Friday evening despite the game being held at their St Andrew's home.

Coventry, who are ground-sharing with Blues, have registered the same amount of home points as their landlords from one game fewer, highlighting Birmingham's inconsistencies this season.

When posting seven points from three matches against Queens Park Rangers, Huddersfield Town and Preston North End, they appeared to be over their uninspiring efforts earlier in the campaign.

Home setbacks against Wycombe and Bournemouth have lowered the mood around the club, however, and Karanka is under pressure to ensure that his team do not get pulled into a relegation battle.

On a more positive note, Birmingham will move into 12th spot in the table if they can return to winning ways ahead of the weekend's schedule.

Coventry City Championship form: DLLWLL

Birmingham City Championship form: LDWWLL


Team News

Birmingham City manager Aitor Karanka pictured on October 4, 2020© Reuters

Karanka may revert to using just one central forward, a move which would result in either Scott Hogan or Lukas Jutkiewicz dropping down to the substitutes' bench.

Jonathan Leko and Jeremie Bela are both pushing for a recall, while Caolan Boyd-Munce will hope to retain his place after making his first Championship start before the international break.

Barring any late fitness issues, Robins may opt against making any alterations to his Coventry XI.

Although Maxime Biamou has not scored in his last three starts, the Frenchman is expected to get the nod in attack.

Coventry City possible starting lineup:
Marosi; Rose, Ostigard, Hyam; McCallum, Hamer, Sheaf, O'Hare, Giles; Walker, Biamou

Birmingham City possible starting lineup:
Etheridge; Roberts, San Jose, Dean; Colin, Gardner, Kieftenbeld, Boyd-Munce; Bela, Jutkiewicz, Leko


SM words green background

We say: Coventry City 1-1 Birmingham City

While both teams will view this game as a good opportunity to get maximum points on the board, they may prioritise avoiding defeat to get their campaign back on track. Although we are expecting a feisty affair to be played out at St Andrew's, goalmouth action could be lacking in the second city.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data


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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Bournemouth8530146818
2Fulham85121871116
3West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom8440147716
4Coventry CityCoventry851296316
5Stoke CityStoke84221110114
6Blackburn RoversBlackburn8341118313
7Huddersfield TownHuddersfield84131311213
8Queens Park RangersQPR83321612412
9Bristol City8332109112
10Cardiff CityCardiff8323119211
11Birmingham CityBirmingham83231010011
12Derby CountyDerby824267-110
13Luton TownLuton82421214-210
14Reading83141518-310
15Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd8233121209
16Middlesbrough8233910-19
17Preston North EndPreston8233911-29
18Millwall8152810-28
19Barnsley815269-38
20Blackpool8224712-58
21Swansea CitySwansea8143711-47
22Peterborough UnitedPeterborough82151017-77
23Hull City8125512-75
24Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest8116712-54

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