Coventry City and Birmingham City face off on Friday, aiming for victories that could elevate them back into playoff contention in the Championship.
Currently placed 17th and 15th respectively in the league standings, the teams are separated by just one point.
Coventry City, after a winless streak earlier in the season, bounced back with wins over Millwall and Plymouth Argyle.
Although they suffered a 2-1 defeat against Ipswich Town, they seem to be on the rise, displaying resilience in defense and aiming to improve their attack.
With a positive goal difference and a recent upturn in form, Coventry, sitting eight points off the top six, believe they can mount a promotion push in the coming games.
On the other hand, Birmingham City and Wayne Rooney are struggling to find consistency, with just five points collected in eight games under Rooney’s leadership.
Rooney has expressed concerns about his team’s character following a goalless draw against Rotherham United.
Birmingham needs improvement, especially away from home, having lost their last seven away matches in the Championship.
Rooney is eager for the January transfer window to strengthen his squad and ensure they stay clear of the relegation zone.
Coventry City Championship form: L L D W W L
Birmingham City Championship form: L D L W L D
Coventry’s manager, Mark Robins, is likely to make changes after their loss to Ipswich. Tatsuhiro Sakamoto and Matt Godden could return in the attack, while Cody Drameh is expected to feature for Birmingham after Ethan Laird’s injury.
Lukas Jutkiewicz may lead Birmingham’s attack, and Jordan James could get a chance in midfield after their last match’s rare clean sheet.
Possible Starting Lineups:
Coventry City: (4-2-3-1)
Van Ewijk, Thomas, Kitching, Bidwell;
Sakamoto, O’Hare, Wright;
Birmingham City: (4-2-3-1)
Drameh, Aiwu, Sanderson, Buchanan;
Miyoshi, Stansfield, Dembele;
Prediction: Coventry City 2-1 Birmingham City
Coventry seems to be improving, even in their recent defeat, and their resurgence might continue against Birmingham, who have been inconsistent under Rooney’s management. Expect a competitive match, but Coventry might edge this encounter.