MX23RW : Friday, February 23 06:55:57| >> :120:34403:34403:
[monks data]
Coventry City
Championship | Gameweek 20
Dec 8, 2023 at 8pm UK
The Coventry Building Society Arena
Birmingham logo
2 - 0
O'Hare (30', 77')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Bacuna (9'), Dembele (56'), Aiwu (70'), Jutkiewicz (75'), James (81')

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

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

Coventry City and Birmingham City square off on Friday evening with both clubs looking for wins that will move them back into playoff contention.

The two teams - who sit in 17th and 15th position in the Championship standings respectively - are separated by just the one point.

Match preview

Coventry City manager Mark Robins on September 15, 2023© Reuters

After a six-match winless streak between October 7 and the November international break, Mark Robins may have feared that the Coventry hierarchy would be considering a change of direction.

Despite the level of respect that he has earned with the Sky Blues, his team looked stale, yet Coventry were able to return from the two-week break with victories over Millwall and Plymouth Argyle.

Although they subsequently lost 2-1 at second-placed Ipswich Town in their next outing, there is a feeling that Coventry are now back on the up, sitting just eight points adrift of the top six.

With just two goals - both of which came at Portman Road - being conceded in four matches, belief is growing that they can further reduce that deficit if they continue to improve in the final third.

While they have won just five of 19 matches in the second tier during 2023-24, Coventry possess a positive goal difference, highlighting that there remains potential for a promotion push for the second campaign in a row.

Birmingham City players look dejected on November 11, 2023© Reuters

As far as Birmingham and Wayne Rooney are concerned, they look no closer to rediscovering the team's form from John Eustace's reign, Rooney going as far as questioning the character of some of his players last weekend.

That was in response to a goalless draw being posted at home to Rotherham United, making it just five points being accumulated from eight games under the England legend.

Rooney desperately needs the January transfer window to arrive so that he can sign his own players, yet his focus needs to be on ensuring that Blues do not fall any closer than the current seven-point gap to the relegation zone.

At St Andrew's, five points have been collected from three games, yet Birmingham have lost their last seven matches away from home in the Championship.

Coventry City Championship form:

Birmingham City Championship form:

Team News

Birmingham City manager Wayne Rooney reacts on October 21, 2023© Reuters

Robins is expected to make at least a couple of changes to his Coventry XI after trying and failing to stifle Ipswich in East Anglia.

Tatsuhiro Sakamoto and Matt Godden can expect to return in the final third, with Callum O'Hare and Yasin Ayari most likely to drop out.

Cody Drameh is in line to return for Birmingham at right-back after Ethan Laird sustained a groin injury during the early stages of the Rotherham fixture.

Lukas Jutkiewicz, who was praised by Rooney after that stalemate, should be recalled ahead of Oliver Burke down the middle of the attack, while Jordan James will also be considered for an outing in midfield.

Given the rare clean sheet that was recorded under Rooney's watch, the rest of the team may stay the same.

Coventry City possible starting lineup:
Collins; Van Ewijk, Thomas, Kitching, Bidwell; Sheaf, Eccles; Sakamoto, O'Hare, Wright; Godden

Birmingham City possible starting lineup:
Ruddy; Drameh, Aiwu, Sanderson, Buchanan; Bielik, Bacuna; Miyoshi, Stansfield, Dembele; Jutkiewicz

SM words green background

We say: Coventry City 2-1 Birmingham City

While the assumption is that Birmingham may click into gear under Rooney at some stage, we cannot ignore Coventry's improvement. Despite the defeat to Ipswich, they were competitive, and the Sky Blues seem likely to continue their resurgence on Friday evening.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 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.Under 3.5:data

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