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

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Coventry City and Derby County, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Coventry City and Derby County meet at St Andrew's on Saturday afternoon with just three points separating the teams in the Championship standings.

The home side, who occupy 20th position, sit just three points above the relegation zone, while the Rams remain in trouble after their heavy defeat at Cardiff City on Tuesday night.

Match preview

Derby County manager Wayne Rooney pictured on January 23, 2021© Reuters

Wayne Rooney has worked wonders to move Derby outside of the bottom three, lifting a group of players who had regularly under-performed while Phillip Cocu was in charge.

Nevertheless, the Rams still have much work ahead if they wish to remain in the division, particularly after their setback at the hands of Cardiff in midweek.

Even though Rooney took the opportunity to rest a number of key men, it highlighted that the England legend may have to become heavily reliant on his senior figures in the weeks ahead.

On the back of four points being claimed from as many matches, Derby still have distance between themselves and the relegation zone, but they can ill-afford to lose out to opponents who will sense a chance to make significant headway up the table.

Coventry City manager Mark Robins pictured in September 2020© Reuters

Mark Robins will not be happy with his side's recent run of form, their only win in nine matches coming against promotion contenders Brentford.

However, while the Sky Blues have managed to stay out of the bottom three, that task has been made harder courtesy of their late defeat to Middlesbrough on Tuesday night.

The setback marked the second time in five home fixtures that Coventry had lost from a winning position, the other occasion coming versus Nottingham Forest at the start of February.

Although Robins will have few complaints with how his players are staying competitive in matches, their lack of a ruthless streak threatens to undermine their overall performances.

Coventry have not scored more than twice in a game since December 5, a period stretching 19 matches in all competitions.

Coventry City Championship form: LLWLDL

Derby County Championship form: WWLWDL

Team News

Colin Kazim-Richards celebrates scoring for Derby County against Birmingham City in the Championship on December 29, 2020© Reuters

Rooney will make several changes to his Derby XI, including handing a recall to forward Colin Kazim-Richards.

Nathan Byrne, Max Bird, Jason Knight and Martyn Waghorn are also in contention to feature in the starting lineup.

Coventry are still without key defender Leo Ostigard, who serves the final game of his suspension.

Matty James could return to the team after his outing as a substitute in midweek, but Robins is unlikely to make major alterations.

Coventry City possible starting lineup:
Wilson; Hyam, McFadzean, Rose; Dabo, James, Hamer, McCallum; O'Hare; Walker, Biamou

Derby County possible starting lineup:
Roos; Byrne, Wisdom, Clarke, Buchanan; Bird, Shinnie; Jozwiak, Knight, Sibley; Kazim-Richards

SM words green background

We say: Coventry City 1-1 Derby County

Wary of Rotherham's games in hand, do not expect this encounter to be packed with action at either end. With that in mind, we are backing a low-scoring draw between two clubs who will not want to end the week without an extra point on the board.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win 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.Home/Away:data

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Derby County manager Wayne Rooney pictured on February 13, 2021
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