WEMBLEY COUNTDOWN - Wembley awaits as Coventry City chase FA Cup final dream - The Coventry Observer

WEMBLEY COUNTDOWN - Wembley awaits as Coventry City chase FA Cup final dream

Coventry Editorial 19th Apr, 2024   0

COVENTRY City head into the this weekend’s FA Cup semi-final against 12-time winners Manchester United as massive underdogs.

However, even the most faithful City supporter must have thought their cup run was over with the club 2-1 down in the 96th-minute of their quarter-final tie against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Yet somehow, the Sky Blues found a way to book their place at Wembley and reach the last four of the competition for the first time in 37 years. A lot has changed since then.

City will be backed by a 36,000 strong Sky Blue army on Sunday as Mark Robins and his players attempt to etch their names into the club’s history books forever.

Many will have written the Sky Blues off before a ball has even been kicked at Wembley given the gap in resources between the two clubs.

Coventry beat Sir Alex Ferguson’s United side en route to the final in 1987. Will history repeat itself? The Sky Blues will certainly hope so.


With Kasey Palmer the only player unavailable from the side which started Coventry’s quarter-final win at Wolves, any other changes would come as a surprise.

A straight swap with Callum O’Hare is the obvious change.

The ever-dependable Joel Latibeaudiere and Jake Bidwell should continue at full back which will allow the pacy Milan van Ewijk to trouble United further up the pitch.

Big performances from Ben Sheaf, Haji Wright and Ellis Simms, who all impressed in the win at Wolves, are essential in helping Coventry pull off an upset.

Predicted line-up: Collins, Latibeaudiere, Thomas, Kitching, Bidwell, Sheaf, Eccles, van Ewijk, O’Hare, Wright, Simms.


If ever there was a good time to play Manchester United, now might just be that time.

The Red Devils have endured a difficult season and should they fail to win the FA Cup the club might miss out on European football altogether.

United lost to rivals Manchester City in last year’s final with Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag under pressure to deliver silverware.

The club have won just one of their last seven league matches but did show plenty of spirit to beat bitter rivals Liverpool 4-3 after extra time in the quarter-finals.

United are missing a host of defenders including Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez, Luke Shaw and Victor Lindelof.

However, the Red Devils possess plenty of threat in attack with Bruno Fernandes scoring four goals in his last three games.


Coventry claimed a famous 2-0 win at Old Trafford in the last competitive meeting between the two teams in September 2007.

A brace from Sky Blues cult-hero Michael Mifsud helped City into the fourth round of the League Cup against a United side which featured Gerard Pique, Nani and Michael Carrick from the bench.

And City also beat United en route to winning the FA Cup in 1987.

A Keith Houchen goal earned the Sky Blues a 1-0 win at Old Trafford in the fourth round of the competition just months after Sir Alex Ferguson took charge at United.

Overall Coventry have won 23 matches against United with 17 draws and 43 defeats.


Victory in the FA Cup semi-final would leave City one win away from qualifying for European football.

The winners of this year’s competition qualify for next season’s UEFA Europa League league stage.

And a win this weekend would also see the Sky Blues reach just a second FA Cup final in the club’s history against either Manchester City or Chelsea.

The FA Cup semi-final takes place on Sunday, April 21 with kick-off at 3.30pm at Wembley.

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