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Championship | Gameweek 16
Nov 11, 2023 at 3pm UK
The Coventry Building Society Arena

0 - 0

Kitching (79')

Leris (61')

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

:Headline: Preview: Coventry City vs. Stoke City - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Coventry City and Stoke City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Looking to put an end to their longest losing run in over 12 months, Coventry City will welcome an in-form Stoke City side to the Coventry Building Society Arena on Saturday afternoon in the Championship.

The Sky Blues are currently a shadow of the team who reached the playoff final in May and need to pick up results quickly to keep their top-six hopes alive, whilst Stoke have started to regain some of their early-season swagger in recent weeks.

Match preview

Coventry City's losing streak in the Championship extended to four matches last weekend, when the Sky Blues were unable to break their Deepdale hoodoo against Preston North End, with the Lilywhites coming out on top of a five-goal thriller following a dismal first-half display from the visitors.

A positive of the trip to Lancashire was that summer arrival Haji Wright bagged his maiden brace for the club since moving from Turkish Super Lig club Antalyaspor, but goals from Duane Holmes, Alan Browne and Montenegro international Milutin Osmajic condemned Mark Robins's men to five matches without a victory.

The losses of attacking stars such as Viktor Gyokeres and Gustavo Hamer to Sporting Lisbon and Sheffield United respectively are cruel blows which have taken a significant toll, but Coventry have also struggled defensively this term after keeping a record 22 clean sheets in 2022-23, with goalkeeper Ben Wilson coming under scrutiny for his performances against West Bromwich Albion and Preston.

The Sky Blues currently sit 20th in the second-tier standings having collected an uninspiring 15 points from as many contests, meaning 22nd-placed Rotherham United are only four points behind, and Ryan Lowe's sixth-placed Lilywhites are 10 points better off as we approach the third international break of the campaign.

Coventry were handed an embarrassing lost during their most-recent clash with Stoke at the CBS Arena, with Jacob Brown, Tyrese Campbell, William Smallbone and Ki-Jana Hoever all getting onto the scoresheet for the Potters as they dismantled a Premier League-chasing Sky Blues side in April.

Since returning from October's international pause, Stoke City have shown the rest of the division why they could be contenders for a top-six placement this season, with the Potters currently unbeaten in four matches since the defeat at league leaders Leicester City on October 7.

A goalless draw with Cardiff City last Saturday at the bet365 Stadium halted Stoke's three-game winning run following successes against Sunderland, Leeds United and Michael Carrick's Middlesbrough, however there is still plenty of positive momentum ahead of this weekend's journey to the West Midlands.

Alex Neil's men have seemingly found their preferred members of the defensive line in recent weeks, and the solid centre-back partnership of former Coventry duo Luke McNally and Michael Rose has helped Jack Bonham to keep three clean sheets in succession following Mark Travers's return to parent club Bournemouth.

Although Andre Vidigal has not found the back of the net since the 3-1 loss against Hull City on September 24, the 25-year-old has been a shining light for the Potters during the opening months of the 2023-24 season, with teammate Hoever claiming that the Portuguese has set a great example to the raft of players who also joined the club in the summer.

A sharp upturn in form since the last international break has seen Stoke move from the lower reaches of the Championship table and into 13th place, now just five points behind the top six, with a healthy nine-point gap being established between the Staffordshire club and the relegation zone.

Coventry City Championship form:

Stoke City Championship form:

Team News

Coventry are set to make a number of changes from the XI which disappointed in the opening exchanges at Deepdale last time out, meaning playmaker Yasin Ayari and Jay Dasilva could drop to the bench.

The Sky Blues switched to a back four in the second period at Deepdale as they chased the contest, and there are suggestions that the hosts could go with a 4-3-3 setup from the start on Saturday, allowing Matty Godden and Ellis Simms to partner Wright in attack.

Kyle McFadzean is expected to drop out of the side this weekend due to a family bereavement, so the likes of Bobby Thomas and Liam Kitching will battle with Luis Binks for a spot in the backline.

Callum O'Hare has made three substitute appearances since making his long-awaited return from injury, but it remains to be seen whether the former Aston Villa youngster will be handed a starting berth this weekend.

After hurtling towards the October international break with 10 first-team players in the medical room, Stoke had just the single absentee from training this week, with centre-back Ben Wilmot set to be sidelined until December due to a knee injury.

Club captain Lewis Baker and forward Campbell have returned to training on the grass following their respective injuries, however it is likely that neither will be ready for Championship action on the weekend.

Dwight Gayle has started the Potters' last two matches as Ryan Mmaee recovered from a slight knock, but with the Moroccan back in contention, the former Newcastle United marksman could be forced to settle for a place amongst the substitutes.

Coventry City possible starting lineup:
Wilson; Van Ewijk, Thomas, Kitching, Bidwell; Sakamoto, Eccles, Sheaf; Godden, Simms, Wright

Stoke City possible starting lineup:
Bonham; Hoever, McNally, Rose, Stevens; Burger, Pearson, Leris, Johnson, Vidigal; Mmaee

We say: Coventry City 2-1 Stoke City

Coventry are failing to reach anywhere near the heights of last season, but a potential change to a back-four system for the Sky Blues will harbour hopes of a fresh start.

Stoke have been exceptional during their last four matches, although we believe that the Potters' four-game unbeaten streak will end at the CBS Arena on Saturday.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 2.5 goals 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.Under 2.5:data

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