Match Preview | Coventry City vs. Cardiff City
Neil Harris’ men travel to St. Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium on Wednesday evening, to face newly promoted Coventry City. The match between the Bluebirds and the Sky Blues will kick-off at 7:45pm.
How do I watch the match?
A Cardiff City TV Match Pass can be purchased now for just £10 in the UK & Ireland. International Match Passes are available for just £7 per game, or £20 a month.
Cardiff City TV's broadcast includes a pre-match show ahead of a multi-camera production, with commentary and replays.
Please note: This fixture will not be available to watch through Sky Sports Red Button.
Supporters in the UK & Ireland can also purchase a Commentary Pass for £5 a month, or for just £35 for the remainder of the 2020/21 campaign.
Harris pre-Coventry | I’m focused on getting the win
Ahead of Wednesday’s fixture, Neil Harris spoke to the press and media, providing his thoughts on City’s recent Championship form.
“However well you play, and we have played in the last few weeks, if you're still going behind in games, you're not always going to come back and get draws or wins.
"When we do go ahead, then we become the team that is difficult to break down, but also the threat that we have on the counterattack puts us in a really strong position.
“Again, it just adds to the importance of the first goal and that's something that we've spoken about as a group, certainly.”
Opposition Focus: The boss
Mark Robins returned to Coventry in 2017 for a second spell in charge, helping them to the League One title last term. Robins began his playing career with Manchester United, making his debut in 1988. He played an important role as the Red Devils won the FA Cup in 1990, the first trophy of Sir Alex Ferguson’s tenure at the club. Robins departed Old Trafford in 1992, moving to Norwich City where he helped the club reach the UEFA Cup and famously defeat Bayern Munich. The striker signed for Leicester City in 1995, and lifted the League Cup with the Foxes two years later. Following spells abroad in Spain and Greece, Robins returned to Britain in 1999, and featured for several clubs prior to his retirement in 2005.
Having started his coaching career as Assistant Manager of Rotherham United, Robins was awarded the top job in 2007 following a spell as caretaker manager. His promising stint with the Millers was followed by time in charge of Barnsley, whom he lifted from the Championship drop zone upon his arrival in 2009. In 2012, Robins arrived at Coventry City for his first spell in charge, again taking the club from relegation candidates to play-off hopefuls. He was soon appointed as boss of Huddersfield Town, and succeeded in maintaining the Terriers’ Championship status during the 2012/13 season.
Following a brief stint in charge of Scunthorpe United, Robins returned to Coventry in March 2017, and lifted the EFL Trophy a month later. The Sky Blues returned to Wembley the following season, earning promotion to League One via the Play-Offs in 2017/18. Last term, Robins’ men held a five-point lead at the top of the League One table when football was suspended; they were deservedly awarded the League One title, and promotion to the Championship, on the basis of points-per-game.
Opposition Focus: Season so far
Last term’s excellent early-season form saw Coventry top the pile in League One, earning them a return to the Championship for the first time since 2012. However, the Sky Blues have endured a tricky start to the campaign, and currently sit in 21st position. They have won just two league matches, both of which came at home, against Queens Park Rangers and Reading. Both of those games ended 3-2, highlighting both Coventry’s ability in front of goal and their defensive frailties. Indeed, they have found the back of the net on 12 occasions (the 15th highest in the division) but have conceded the most goals of any Championship team – 23.
The Sky Blues are without a win in three matches, stretching back to their victory against the Royals on October 30th. Since then, City have lost two games, a 2-1 defeat to Nottingham Forest and a 3-2 loss to Watford, both away from home. They returned to action after the international break with a goalless draw against Birmingham City. Coventry were the ‘home’ team for that clash; the Sky Blues are sharing Birmingham’s St. Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium for the second consecutive season. The two sides will meet again, with the Blues as the hosts, on January 30th, 2021.
Mark Robins made a host of new signings over the summer months, with a firm focus on youth rather than experience. Of their eleven new additions, only one has previous Championship appearances under his belt; forward Tyler Walker had played 40 games and scored five goals for Nottingham Forest. Other new recruits include a trio of Premier League loanees; defender Leo Østigård and midfielders Ryan Giles and Ben Sheaf arrived from Brighton & Hove Albion, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal respectively.
Opposition Focus: Ones to watch
With last season’s top scorer Matt Godden likely to miss Wednesday’s fixture through injury, midfielder Gustavo Hamer will be looking to step up in front of goal. The 23-year-old joined the Sky Blues from PEC Zwolle in the summer, and has been one of Coventry’s most consistent performers this term. Despite being shown a red card in City’s 3-1 defeat to AFC Bournemouth, Hamer has netted twice in his nine Championship appearances, and has also recorded one assist.
Callum O’Hare has also found the back of the net on two occasions this season, having returned to Coventry on a permanent deal in the summer. The playmaker featured for the Sky Blues last season whilst on loan from Aston Villa, and netted four times as City sealed promotion back to the Championship. In July, the 22-year-old signed a three-year deal with the club, and has started the last four matches for the Sky Blues. Having contributed four assists last season, O’Hare will be surely be looking get off the mark for the current campaign in the near future.
Fankaty Dabo was named as Coventry’s Player of the Season last term, capping an impressive debut campaign for the right-back. The former Chelsea youth prospect joined the Sky Blues in June 2019, and featured in 32 games as the club lifted the League One title. As well as helping to keep 14 clean sheets during the season, Dabo also contributed three assists from the right flank, making him a worthy winner of the award, which was voted for by the City supporters.