Coventry City - Leicester City

Coventry came in recent season without big ambitions. Some important players left the club during the summer transfer market (Scott Dann, Danny Fox, Robbie Simpson, Guillaume Beuzelin, Leon MacKenzie and Michael Doyle), while manager Chris Coleman was only able to make three permanent signings, with Sammy Clingan (Norwich), Michael McIndoe (Bristol City) and Martin Cranie (Charlton) arriving at the Ricoh Arena. However, club currently sit 10th in the table noticing some very good displays lately. Just one defeat in last five rounds (Preston, 2-3 on the road), with two draws vs. Bristol City (1-1) and Middlesbrough (2-2) and two great victories over Sheff.Utd. at home 3-2 and in last round at Vicarage Road against Watford (2-3). Last game once again showed the biggest strength and biggest weakness of Sky Blue’s. They have great attacking force (Clinton Morrison and Leon Best), but at the same time very shaky defense line that have conceded nine goals in last four games. Main reason is two important defenders didn’t play in last few encounters, Marcus Hall and Ben Turner, and are likely to remain sidelined for M69 derby. England Under-21 defender Martin Cranie is in contention for a starting place.

The Foxes, last term's League One champions, are eighth in the table and notice more than decent start in the second tier. Team is well balanced, but also possess few very quality individuals. Goalkeeper Christopher Weale, creative link in midfield Richie Wellence and excellent striker Matty Fryatt are the spine of this team. Under the guidance of current boss Nigel Pearson, team is recognizable by the fighting spirit and excellent physical condition that usually brings them advantage as the game comes to end. All these factors make from Leicester a serious contender for a play-off spot. In the last round, they defeated league giants Middlesbrough at the Riverside 1-0, got a first away win and boosted their confidence. Another success would launch them into play-off zone. Additional good news came from club’s medical service. Richie Wellens is available after missing the midweek win through illness, while Matt Fryatt is also fit despite limping off at Boro. Only missing is defender Alexsander Tunchev who will be out for several weeks after knee surgery. The Foxes have avoided defeat in eight of their last 10 visits to Coventry.

M69 Derby usually brings a nervous game, full of hard tackles and yellow cards with small number of goals. I give a small advantage to the visitors because they look more compact and consistent, have bigger ambitions and simply expect another good display from Matty Fryatt against shaky Coventry’s defense. Away win (2.97 at Pinnacle) is a gamble, dnb 2 (odds arround 2.00) is a safe bet. 

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