Coventry City will take on high-flying Sunderland in a televised lunchtime fixture at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday, after a disappointing 3-1 defeat on the road against Bristol Rovers last weekend.
Jack Grimmer and Max Biamou will definitely be sidelined for the Sky Blues with Jodi Jones approaching the end of a lengthy injury spell. Brendan Mason is likely to back in contention.
Coventry talisman Tom Bayliss is expected to be back after missing out against Bristol Rovers due to picking up a knock in training.
For Sunderland, Duncan Watmore is close to a return after training all week. Donald Love is expected to be out and Charlie Wyke is definitely not in contention due to a knee injury.
Coventry predicted XI:
Sunderland predicted XI
The last time the two sides met was in a 2-0 home win at the Stadium of Light in 2007, with both teams then in the Championship. Since then, Coventry have suffered two points deductions, two relegations, and two successful trips to Wembley.
Sunderland will be backed by a predicted 5,000 travelling support, and come into the match off a euphoric 4-1 win over Rochdale, a team that have already beaten Coventry at the Ricoh Arena. Coventry’s form has been unpredictable to say the least. They have the quality to cause team’s problems, but they also have the potential to implode and concede heavily.
The Sky Blues have not been scoring enough goals from open play, and new signing Conor Chaplin is still finding his feet at the club. You have to feel on current form Coventry may well be happy to take a point. However, Coventry have not lost a home game to Sunderland since 1985, and have a good home record generally against the Mackems.
The battle between combative midfielders Michael Doyle and and Lee Cattermole promises to be an interesting element to this match.