Coventry v Sunderland: This is why injury-ravaged Sky Blues will give Sunderland a real challenge

Sunderland travel to Coventry this weekend looking to build on last weekend's comprehensive victory over Rochdale.

Thursday, 27th September 2018, 11:52 am
Updated Thursday, 27th September 2018, 20:32 pm
Coventry City will prove a stern test for Sunderland

With 5,000 supporters set to make the journey from Wearside, it's set to be a raucous atmosphere at the Ricoh Arena as Jack Ross' side hunt for three points.

But they will face a stern test in Warwickshire where - despite injuries and inconsistency - Coventry will be up for the battle.

So what should Sunderland expect from the Sky Blues? Our scout report takes a comprehensive look at Saturday's hosts and why they will pose the Black Cats a real challenge...

What system will Coventry play?

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Coventry will likely line-up in a 4-2-3-1 system, not dissimilar to that used by Sunderland earlier this season.

The Sky Blues have a lively and pacy front four whose fluidly and ability to seamlessly switch positions can often make them difficult to track.

Mark Robins could choose to alter his shape and personnel after a disappointing defeat in their last outing, but still expect Coventry to have that same attacking force.

Behind them, two central midfielders offer some protection to what is a fairly young backline.

Who are Coventry’s key players?

Coventry have a plethora of attacking options and - whichever of them are handed starts - they will certainly pose Sunderland some questions.

Conor Chaplin and Jonson Clarke-Harris were both handed starts last time out, with the latter offering a real cutting edge in front of goal.

The pace of Jordy Hiwula and Amadou Bakayoko is a handy asset off the bench, too - highlighting the attacking strength the Sky Blues have in their ranks.

In the centre of the park, the experienced Michael Doyle and Tony Andreu are key assets and have the ability to dictate the game.

A potential duel between Doyle and Lee Cattermole could prove an intriguing watch.

Do Coventry have any injury worries?

Coventry have a fair few absentees, with several players set to miss the visit of the Black Cats.

Midfielder Tom Bayliss sat out of the Sky Blues’ defeat to Bristol Rovers last weekend but could be in line for a return on Saturday.

Tricky attacker Jodi Jones returned to action in the under-23 side earlier this week and played over 80 minutes, but is not expected to feature against Sunderland.

Full-back Jack Grimmer remains sidelined until October, but fellow defender Brandon Mason could feature for Robins’ side.

Maxime Biamou is a long-term absentee and will definitely miss the game.

Who is Coventry’s manager and what can we expect from them?

The experienced Mark Robins is the man in charge at Coventry, and the ex-Manchester United and Norwich City striker led the side to promotion from League Two last season.

Renowned for his man-management abilities, Robins’ sides are generally very well-disciplined and he has enjoyed plenty of success in the lower leagues during his managerial career.

His team will be well aware of the threats Sunderland pose and Robins will have a plan to combat them.

What form have Coventry been in?

It’s been a mixed start to life back in the third tier for the Sky Blues, who have won three and lost four of their opening nine games.

A lack of consistency has been the problem for Robins’ side thus far, with each victory followed immediately by a defeat meaning no runs of form have been pieced together.

Goals have been hard to come by too, with Coventry having netted more than one goal on just one occasion this season.

But nonetheless, they sit comfortably in midtable with their 11-point haul leaving them sat in 13th.

Last six: LWLWLD