A Midlands derby at the Ricoh Arena...
Tuesday, 12th January 2016 (Kick-off 7.45pm)
Sky Bet League One
Fourth entertains third in an intriguing top-of-the-table Midlands derby. Coventry possess the division’s only unbeaten home record, although Walsall’s away form is the best in League One. The Saddlers, who have won four of their five competitive matches under head coach Sean O’Driscoll, will go top on goal difference with a win. Tony Mowbray’s Coventry, meanwhile, will rise to second if they emerge victorious.
Coventry: 4th – P25 W13 D8 L4 F46 A24 PTS47
Walsall: 3rd – P24 W14 D6 L4 F40 A22 PTS48
LAST FIVE LEAGUE MATCHES: (Most recent match first)
LAST TIME OUT:
2nd January – Crewe 0-5 Coventry – League One
Adam Armstrong scored a first-half hat-trick as Coventry thrashed struggling Crewe. Norwich loanee Jacob Murphy also netted twice for the Sky Blues, who led 4-0 at half-time.
Team: Charles-Cook, Ricketts, Phillips, Haynes, Stokes, Fleck (Bigirimana 61’), Vincelot, Cole (Kent 71’), Maddison (O’Brien 80’), Murphy, Armstrong.
Subs not used: Burge, Lameiras, Tudgay, Fortune.
2nd January – Brentford 0-1 Walsall – FA Cup third round
Sam Mantom’s superb first-half strike sent Walsall into the FA Cup fourth round at the expense of Dean Smith’s Brentford.
Team:Etheridge, O’Connor, Downing, Chambers, Mantom, Bradshaw (Morris 86’), Sawyers, Henry (Taylor 75’), Lalkovic (Forde 75’), Kinsella, Evans.
Subs not used: MacGillivray, Preston, Flanagan, Cook.
Coventry wins: 20
Walsall wins: 12
22nd August 2015 – Walsall 2-1 Coventry - League One
Goals either side of half-time from Anthony Forde and Tom Bradshaw gave Walsall a pulsating victory over Midlands rivals Coventry. Forde’s cool finish opened the scoring on 40 minutes, and Bradshaw volleyed home the Saddlers’ second shortly after the break. Jacob Murphy’s sublime strike gave Coventry hope but Walsall held on for a fourth successive win in all competitions.
Tony Mowbray – The 52-year-old was appointed Coventry manager in March 2015. He guided the Sky Blues to League One safety last season and was rewarded with a new two-year contract in the summer. Mowbray has also managed Middlesbrough, Celtic, Hibernian and West Brom, where he won the Championship title in 2007/08. He played as a defender for Middlesbrough, Ipswich and Celtic.
COVENTRY STAR MAN:
Adam Armstrong – The highly-rated teenage striker is League One’s 16-goal top scorer. The talented 18-year-old is on loan from Newcastle, for whom he has made 15 Premier League appearances. An England U19 international, Armstrong has been in blistering form this season and scored a first-half hat-trick in Coventry's last outing at Crewe. He has also netted braces against Wigan, Millwall, Shrewsbury, Peterborough and Barnsley.
VIEW FROM THE COVENTRY CAMP:
Tony Mowbray (on facing Walsall) – “We’ll need to be at our best because we’re facing a tough game against a really good side who have shown better consistency than us in winning football matches. Although we haven’t been losing too often we’ve drawn a few too many recently and we need to be at it otherwise we’ll get punished.”
WALSALL TEAM NEWS:
Midfielder Isaiah Osbourne (knee) is injured. The Saddlers have no other injury concerns.
STAT OF THE DAY:
The Saddlers are yet to lose this season after scoring the first goal: 21 games - 15 wins, six draws.
TUESDAY’S LEAGUE ONE FIXTURES (7.45pm unless stated)
Port Vale vs. Swindon
Wigan vs. Sheff Utd