COVENTRY City can move into the automatic promotion places if they beat Preston North End at Deepdale on Wednesday night.
The Sky Blues have enjoyed a superb start to the Sky Bet Championship season and find themselves in fourth place after 12 matches – just two points outside of the promotion spots.
Their opponents Preston currently sit in 18th place – four points above the drop zone – and are 11 points worse off than City
Coventry doubled their tally of away goals this season to four in their 2-2 draw with Blackburn Rovers last weekend with Tyler Walker on target at Ewood Park.
That means City are unbeaten in their last two league matches but have still only won one match on the road this season – a 1-0 win at Blackpool back in August.
Preston have been the division’s draw specialists this term – having been forced to settle for a point in half of their 12 league matches this season.
All of their draws have come in their last seven games with the exception of a 3-2 defeat to Queens Park Rangers at the beginning of the month.
The Lilywhites were held by Derby at the weekend as Frankie McAvoy’s men struggled to create many clear-cut chances at Deepdale.
Ian Maatsen is available for selection again after he served out his one-game ban against Blackburn.
However, Matty Godden remains suspended after being charged with ‘a clear act of simulation’ against Fulham.
There is also concern regarding top scorer Viktor Gyokeres after he injured his ankle in the draw at Ewood Park.
Preston are set to be without several players for Wednesday night’s clash – Ched Evans has a foot problem whilst Connor Wickham and Izzy Brown are both missing with long-term injuries.
Midfielder Ali McCann has also been ruled out with an ankle injury whilst defender Matthew Olosunde has returned to training as he makes his way back to full fitness.
However, on a more positive note for McAvoy’s side – striker Sean Maguire could be available again after he suffered a hamstring injury prior to the international break.
Coventry – Liam Kelly – The Sky Blues skipper has shown just how important he is to Mark Robins side in his two league starts this season.
His ability to win free-kicks to relieve the pressure on the defence, his tidiness in possession and his knack of popping up in the right place at the right time make him integral to City’s midfield.
Preston – Emil Riis Jakobsen – The former Denmark youth international has enjoyed a prolific season in front of goal – netting on eight occasions having already bettered his tally from the previous season.
City have an abysmal recent record against Preston with their last league success against North End coming back in September 2007 – a 2-1 home win at the Coventry Building Society Arena.
However, the Sky Blues have never won a league game at Deepdale – their last win at the ground came back in September 2000 when City secured a 3-1 victory in the League Cup.
Last season’s fixture finished 2-0 to Preston with Daniel Johnson and Maguire scoring the goals whilst the reverse meeting at St Andrew’s ended in a 1-0 win for the Lilywhites through Alan Browne’s penalty.
Preston 1-1 Sky Blues – City showed great spirit to come from two goals down against Blackburn and should have enough to battle for another point in Lancashire on Wednesday night.
City’s clash against Preston gets underway at 7:45pm on Wednesday, October 20 at Deepdale.