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Championship | Gameweek 42
Apr 9, 2024 at 7.45pm UK
St. Mary's Stadium

2 - 1

Walker-Peters (18'), Adams (38')
Downes (42')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Bidwell (68')
Latibeaudiere (3'), Eccles (40')

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

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

Aiming to keep their faint hopes of automatic promotion alive, Southampton will lock horns with playoff-chasing Coventry City at St Mary's Stadium on Tuesday night in the Championship.

The Saints' struggles continued at Ewood Park versus Blackburn Rovers on Saturday, whilst the Sky Blues produced a standout performance and result against Premier League-bound Leeds United.

Match preview

Southampton's dreams of a top-two finish are all but over after collecting just two points from three Championship fixtures since the resumption of club football following the international break, with the Saints settling for a draw at strugglers Blackburn on Saturday afternoon.

For the first time since the defeat to Ipswich Town in September, Russell Martin's side failed to find the net in a second-tier match, with the visitors at Ewood Park waiting until the final 10 minutes of the Lancashire clash for an attempt on target, with Kyle Walker-Peters's strike being saved by Aynsley Pears.

With Kieran McKenna's Tractor Boys and third-placed Leeds both losing away from home on Saturday, Southampton missed a massive opportunity to regain ground in the promotion race, and Tuesday's hosts are now 12 points from surprise package Ipswich in second as the season draws to a conclusion.

A number of Southampton players have come under scrutiny during their run of two wins in seven Championship matches, including captain Jack Stephens, prompting head coach Martin to passionately defend the left-back in the aftermath of the Blackburn stalemate, stating that the 30-year-old is performing well in an unfamiliar left-back role.

As the playoffs become a greater possibility with every passing match, the Saints will be seeking to continue their impressive home form as they prepare for a four-way battle in the post-season picture, with the South Coast club collecting 36 points from 20 league games at St Mary's Stadium this term.

Following a disappointing defeat to mid-table dwellers Cardiff City on Easter Monday, Coventry returned to winning ways in extraordinary fashion at the Coventry Building Society Arena on Saturday afternoon, handing Leeds their first defeat in 16 games and dealing their top-two ambitions a severe blow.

Continuing their sensational form in front of goal during the second half of the campaign, Ellis Simms and Haji Wright both breached the net of Illan Meslier to fire the Sky Blues into a two-goal lead, and despite a Joel Piroe strike in the second period, the hosts were able to hold on for maximum points.

With David Wagner's Norwich City securing an impressive victory over East Anglian rivals Ipswich earlier in the day, Coventry's win against Leeds was vital for the Sky Blues' playoff ambitions, with the East Midlands outfit remaining four points away from sixth, having played a game fewer than the Canaries.

Replacing the towering presence of Viktor Gyokeres who departed in the summer for Sporting Lisbon, former Everton man Simms has burst into goalscoring form over recent months, scoring 14 goals in his last 11 matches across the Championship and FA Cup, including a brace versus Huddersfield Town on Good Friday.

Coventry have failed to win any of their last five meetings with Southampton and are looking to avoid three-straight defeats at St Mary's on Tuesday night, although the two sides have not met on the South Coast in the Championship since April 2012, when the Saints thrashed the Sky Blues 4-0.

Southampton Championship form:

Southampton form (all competitions):

Coventry City Championship form:

Coventry City form (all competitions):

Team News

Southampton boss Martin has vowed that he will make changes to his side following the draw at Blackburn, meaning that the likes of Che Adams and Will Smallbone are in line for starts.

Despite the manager's comments, a centre-back pairing of Jan Bednarek and Taylor Harwood-Bellis should remain untouched after a clean sheet on the weekend.

The Saints are without the services of both Juan Larios and Ross Stewart, who are in the hosts' medical room due to hamstring and muscle injuries respectively.

With Jamie Allen still recovering from a broken cheekbone, boyhood Coventry fan Josh Eccles and Ben Sheaf will continue in the engine room on Tuesday night.

Kasey Palmer operated on the left flank versus Leeds, allowing Callum O'Hare to play in an advanced-midfield role, and we could see a similar tactic from the Sky Blues on the South Coast.

Mark Robins has been forced to change the way he sets up his side in the absence of Tatsuhiro Sakamoto, who is sidelined for the remainder of the season due to a back injury.

Southampton possible starting lineup:
Bazunu; Walker-Peters, Harwood-Bellis, Bednarek, Stephens; Aribo, Downes, Smallbone; Brooks, Adams, Armstrong

Coventry City possible starting lineup:
Collins; Van Ewijk, Thomas, Kitching, Bidwell; Sheaf, Eccles, Wright, O'Hare, Palmer; Simms

We say: Southampton 2-2 Coventry City

Southampton are unlikely to fire a blank in front of goal in back-to-back matches, but the Saints' defensive fragility always gives their opposition a chance going the other way.

Coventry have showcased their ability to produce shock results on the road in recent times, and we reckon that the Sky Blues will force a share of the spoils on the South Coast.

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

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