Coventry City vs Leicester City: Preview and Prediction

Leicester City will seek to keep up their lead at the top of the Championship table when they take on Coventry City.

Championship leaders Leicester City will travel to the Coventry Building Society Arena to take on Coventry City in their EFL Championship clash on Saturday afternoon.

Enzo Maresca’s side are the runaway leaders in the Championship and have opened up a ten-point gap over second-placed Ipswich Town. Despite Coventry’s good form of late, the Foxes will go into the game as favourites.

Mark Robins has seen his side lose just once in their last 11 games as they claw their way back up into playoff contention. The Sky Blues have picked up 22 points in that run, a tally eclipsed only by third-placed Southampton and Leicester City themselves.

A trip away to Coventry will not be easy despite Leicester’s superior squad. The Foxes have shown that they could struggle if teams have a go at them, and a lot will depend on how Robins sets his side up for the game.

Confidence will be high after Coventry thrashed Oxford United in the FA Cup. Leicester will be keen to ensure Coventry does not get off to a good start. With home support to boot, they could very well seize the initiative. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics

Coventry City

Fresh from a 6-2 victory over Oxford United, Coventry City will be keen to make a statement against Leicester City. They will be boosted by the return of Liam Kitching, who has served a three-match suspension.

Haji Wright is a doubt for the game thanks to an adductor injury but could make the cut if deemed fit. Having him come off the bench could be a huge boost for Coventry, provided he continues from where he left off.

The Sky Blues have a largely fully available squad to choose from for the game. Mark Robins is expected to line up his side in a 4-2-3-1 formation that can also double up as a 4-5-1 when needed.

Bradley Collins should start in goal behind the back four of Milan van Ewijk, Bobby Thomas, Liam Kitching and Jake Bidwell. Ben Sheaf and Josh Eccles should hold down the fort in the middle of the park, with the trio of Haji Wright, Callum O’Hare, and Tatsuhiro Sakamoto the freedom to push on. Ellis Simms should continue upfront and will aim to catch the Foxes’ backline cold.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Collins; van Ewijk, Thomas, Kitching, Bidwell; Eccles, Sheaf; Wright, O’Hare, Sakamoto; Simms

Coventry City vs Leicester City: Preview and Prediction.

Leicester City

It has been a solid festive campaign for the Foxes, who secured 22 points out of a maximum of 24. Given that the teams around them failed to keep up, they have now opened up a two-digit point difference at the top of the Championship.

Thomas Cannon, in particular, has been doing his name justice in recent games, finding the back of the net consistently. He is expected to lead the line once again this weekend. Having rotated his squad in the FA Cup, Enzo Maresca is expected to recall his heavy hitters for the game.

One key player who will miss out is Wilfred Ndidi, who is ruled out of action until April. Jamie Vardy continues to struggle with injuries, while Patson Daka is currently at the AFCON with Zambia. Harry Souttar is also ruled out as he prepares for the AFC Asian Cup with Australia.

Maresca is expected to retain his 4-3-3 formation, with Mads Hermansen serving as the last line of defence. He is expected to be protected by the back four of James Justin, Jannik Vestergaard, Wout Faes, and Ricardo Pereira.

Harry Winks and Cesare Casadei should partner Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall in central midfield, with the former two allowing the latter to push on when needed. This will help Leicester shift to a 4-2-3-1 if needed.

Casadei has struggled following a good start to life at Leicester and will need to up his game given that Maresca is seeking January reinforcements. Stephy Mavididi and Abdul Fatawu will provide the width with Cannon starting up front.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Hermansen; Justin, Vestergaard, Faes, Pereira; Winks, Dewsbury-Hall, Casadei; Mavididi, Cannon, Fatawu

Coventry City vs Leicester City: Preview and Prediction.

Key Stats

  • Coventry City last won against Leicester City in the league in 2008, a run of one victory in 17 matches. During this run, they have lost nine times and drawn seven more.
  • This is Leicester’s first league trip to Coventry City since 2011-12.
  • Only Leicester City and Southampton have secured more points than Coventry City in the Championship over the last 11 games.
  • Leicester City are the first side from the Championship to have won 21 of their opening 26 games since Tottenham Hotspur in 1919-20.
  • Coventry City’s Haji Wright (0.63) and Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanaco (0.59) have the highest xG of any player in the Championship this season with 500+ minutes.

Player to Watch

Haji Wright

Embed from Getty Images

The Coventry City man is on a hot streak at the moment and has scored and assisted three goals apiece in his last five Championship starts. The USMNT star is a difficult player to pin down and will cause Leicester City’s defence some problems. The 25-year-old also has accumulated an xG of 0.63, the most of any player in the second tier with 500+ minutes.

His direct style of play could catch the Foxes off guard, given their rather comfortable waltz back to the Premier League so far. Coventry are currently eighth in the  Championship and will be eyeing a play-off spot. As long as Wright keeps up his good form, the Sky Blues have a good chance of securing it.


Coventry City 1-1 Leicester City

It will be a clash between two of the three teams with the best form over the last 11 games in the Championship. Leicester have the edge when it comes to quality, but Coventry are a tough nut to track, especially when the momentum is going for them. The Foxes might not be able to exert their usual dominance, and the The Hard Tackle believes both teams will settle for a point.

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