COVENTRY CITY face play-off rivals Blackburn Rovers this weekend in a must-win game for Mark Robins’ side as they try to revive their top-six aspirations.
The Sky Blues were held to a 1-1 draw by relegation-threatened Derby County in their last game before the international break to leave them as an outside bet for the play-offs.
Their opponents Blackburn Rovers, managed by former City boss Tony Mowbray, currently occupy the final play-off spot, albeit having played more games than the teams around them.
A run of one win in six matches means City are now unlikely to finish in the top-six, however, they were unfortunate not to take the points in their last outing.
Despite Matty Godden firing the Sky Blues into the lead, a soft penalty, won and converted by Tom Lawrence, rescued a point for the Rams.
Rovers were battling at the top end of the play-off positions before a run of two wins in 11 matches has seen them drop to sixth in the Championship table.
Blackburn lost 1-0 away at Reading in their most recent fixture and have not won on the road since mid-January, a run of seven matches.
The Sky Blues are without defenders Jake Clarke-Salter (groin) and Kyle McFadzean (calf) but are likely to have Michael Rose available again after he recovered from Covid.
Captain Liam Kelly (hamstring) and Josh Eccles (calf) remain long-term absentees.
Blackburn look set to be without a host of key players including Darragh Lenihan (groin), Ryan Nyambe (knee), Deyovaisio Zeefuik (foot), Tayo Edun (ankle), Ben Brereton-Diaz (ankle) and Reda Khadra (hamstring).
Rovers boss Mowbray hinted at the potential return of a couple of the players listed above.
Coventry – Matty Godden – Back amongst the goals before the international break, Godden moved onto 12 for the season against Derby after linking up superbly with Callum O’Hare.
Godden is now chasing Viktor Gyokeres’ total of 13 to become the club’s top scorer this season, having played significantly fewer games than the Swede.
Blackburn – Joe Rothwell – The midfielder has contributed to 11 goals for Rovers this season which includes eight assists – more than any other Blackburn player.
Rothwell was on target against the Sky Blues earlier this season, also setting-up Rovers second goal at Ewood Park and should be monitored closely on Saturday afternoon.
The two teams last met in the league in October when City came back from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Ewood Park with Tyler Walker and a Thomas Kaminski own goal securing a point for the visitors.
Coventry’s last victory against Blackburn came back in February 2009 as City secured a 1-0 win in the FA Cup whilst their last league win against Rovers was back in 1998 as the Sky Blues won 2-1 in a top-flight clash at Ewood Park.
City have a slightly better overall head-to-head record against Blackburn having won 17, drawn eight and lost 15 games across 40 meetings.
Coventry 1-0 Blackburn – Despite a poor recent record against Rovers, the Sky Blues should have enough to take the points with Blackburn missing a number of key players through injury.
Coventry’s clash with Blackburn takes place on Saturday, April 2 with kick-off at 3pm at the Coventry Building Society Arena.
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