COVENTRY CITY face play-off rivals Sheffield United this weekend in a must-win game for Mark Robins’ side as they try to revive their top-six aspirations.
The Sky Blues suffered back-to-back defeats for the first time this season in their last two outings, losing to play-off rivals Luton Town on Tuesday night.
Their opponents Sheffield United, now managed by Paul Heckingbottom, sit six places above City in fifth place after a convincing win at home to Middlesbrough in midweek.
The Sky Blues have fallen away from the top six in recent weeks and are without a win in three games after suffering a 1-0 defeat to Luton last time out.
Elijah Adebayo scored the game’s only goal late in the first half to condemn City to defeat which leaves them six points outside of the play-off places.
The Blades are in fine form having lost just once in their last 12 matches, with their last away win coming against Birmingham City at the start of February.
United thrashed Middlesbrough 4-1 on Tuesday night, with Sander Berge, Billy Sharp, Jack Robinson and Morgan Gibbs-White all on target.
The Sky Blues remain without captain Liam Kelly and Josh Eccles who have hamstring and calf injuries respectively.
Sheffield United look set to be without George Baldock (knock), Jayden Bogle (knee), Jack O’Connell (knee), John Fleck (groin), David McGoldrick (thigh) and Rhian Brewster (hamstring).
Coventry – Gus Hamer – The popular Brazilian midfielder has been in stunning form of late with one goal and four assists in his last five matches and recently extended his contract with the club.
Hamer has more assists (six) than any other Sky Blues player this season and is capable of unlocking any defence on his day and will have a key role to play on Saturday afternoon.
Sheffield United – Morgan Gibbs-White – The on-loan Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder has enjoyed a fine season at Bramall Lane this term with eight goals and seven assists.
Gibbs-White looked United’s biggest threat when the two teams met earlier this season and has six goal contributions (three goals, three assists) in his last five matches.
The two teams last met in the league in November when City were held to a goalless draw at Bramall Lane with the Sky Blues having won just one of their last six league meetings with the Blades.
And Coventry’s last victory against United came back in April 2016 as City secured a 3-1 win thanks to goals from Marc-Antoine Fortuné, Andy Rose and Ruben Lameiras with current Blade Billy Sharp on target for the visitors.
The Sky Blues have a slightly worse overall head-to-head record against Sheffield United having won 22, drawn 19 and lost 23 games across 64 meetings.
Coventry 1-1 Sheffield United – The form book points to a Sheffield United win but Coventry will be desperate to avoid a third successive defeat and should have enough fight to come away with a point.
Coventry’s clash with Sheffield United takes place on Saturday, March 12 with kick-off at 3pm at the Coventry Building Society Arena.