Championship Preview: Cardiff City V Coventry City

Coventry City will visit Cardiff City Stadium this weekend to face Cardiff. The Bluebirds have seen a upturn in form since the arrival of Mick McCarthy having picked up two wins and two draws. Coventry have one just one of their last six matches. Cardiff are six points ahead of the Sky Blues in the table.

Coventry won the reverse fixture in November by a goal to nil. Tyler Walker got the goal in the game at St Andrews. This was Coventry’s first win against Cardiff since a 1-0 win in 2007. In between these games Cardiff have won eight of the meetings between the sides.

Recent Form

Cardiff are unbeaten since McCarthy took over in January. Two draws have been followed by two away wins against Bristol City and Rotherham. This will be McCarthy’s second home match and will be hoping to make it three wins in a row.

Coventry held Watford to a goal less draw in their last match. This followed a 2-1 home defeat to Nottingham Forest and a draw with landlords Birmingham City. Coventry sit three points above the drop zone.

Team News

Mick McCarthy has said new signing Jonny Williams will not be ready for the weekends match. Alex Smithies will also miss the match, he is still suffering from the illness which forced him off against Bristol City. Leandro Bacuna, who was not in the squad for the trip to Rotherham is fit and could return this weekend. Jordi Osei-Tutu and Lee Tomlin are still out with injuries.

Coventry Live reported on the clubs long injury list. Tyler Walker is set to return to the match squad for the trip to Cardiff after a calf strain. Goalkeeper Ben Wilson has finished isolating and will be available. Amadou Bakayoko is also likely to be back in the matchday squad. This match will likely come to soon for captain Liam Kelly who should re-join the squad on Monday. Fankaty Dabo and Matty Godden are longer term injuries and will not be involved.

Managers Thoughts

Mick McCarthy spoke about the returning confidence that his side are showing:

Clearly, I’ve had it myself, I’m not immune to it, when you lose games, confidence goes, belief goes, and people look for answers. Sometimes they’re just looking at others and not at themselves.

How do you restore that?

It didn’t look like it would be restored 2-0 down at Barnsley, but the 2-2 draw showed the willingness to work and fight back. That started it.

Another draw, two great wins and restores the self belief that you can win games again.

We’ve had two really good results. But what we can’t do is be complacent. We’ve got eight points from four games, but we don’t suddenly start believing we are this team who can press all the way.

We have got to win tomorrow and get something out of the next game at Luton.

If we can do that for six, seven, eight games, then we can start believing. What I don’t want to do is to start bigging it up and then suddenly find we trip ourselves up against Coventry tomorrow.

“I only look as far as the next game. That’s a bit boring I know.

“But if you’re saying to me on Monday ‘Oh Mick another great three points’, I’ll be delighted. But there’s a big ‘if’ there as Coventry are going to be a hard nut to crack.”

Coventry manager Mark Robins told the club’s website:

It’s a big challenge, that’s for sure, they’ve got aspirations of getting into the top six, they’ve not long been out of the Premier League.

Mick’s is a really experienced manager, a great bloke, a really top man and he’s got a wealth of experience, you can see results are coming from his leadership at this moment in time.

He’s unbeaten to date and they’ve got a squad full of talented players, it’s a tough match, but a really good game in the lead up to the next three games because all three are tasty games.

His Ipswich team were a tough nut to crack; they were physical but had some really good quality as well and always made it difficult.

“The players at their disposal, he’s going to make good use of them, and you can see that now, it’s a really good game for us to look forward to and try and get our teeth stuck into.”

Key Players

For Cardiff’s game to work they rely on striker Kieffer Moore who has netted 11 goals so far this season. Winning 11 aerials per game the striker links up with Cardiff’s attacking midfielders Harry Wilson and Sheyi Ojo. Moore is currently ranked number one in the championship by whoscored.com. The Bluebirds have not lost a game in which the welsh striker has scored.

Gustavo Hamer will be a key figure for Coventry as the defensive midfielder will have to deal with the inform Cardiff number 10’s. Hamer has five goals and two assists so far this season and will be a danger for Cardiff as well. He has a pass percentage of 74.6 and a whoscored.com rating of 7.06.

Prediction; Cardiff 2 – 0 Coventry

Cardiff have found a new system under McCarthy that seems to suit the players and should have the quality to see off the Sky Blues.

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