Coventry v Birmingham: Home comforts key for Sky Blues

Mark Robins - Coventry
Coventry are the Championship's surprise package
  • Coventry City vs Birmingham City
  • Tue 23 Nov, 19:45

High-flying Coventry face Midlands rivals Birmingham in Tuesday night's televised action from the Championship. Mark O'Haire shares his best bet...

"The Sky Blues boast an excellent W7-D1-L1 return from fixtures at their CBS Arena base, racking up an eye-catching 19 goals in the process"

Coventry keep Blades at bay

Championship surprise package Coventry continued their impressive start to the season with a deserved point against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Saturday. Manager Mark Robins left Matty Godden on the bench despite his five goals in the previous six games, and the extra man in midfield gave the Sky Blues the perfect platform to thwart the Blades.

Coventry stifled the hosts during the opening 45 minutes with United unable to produce a single effort of note for goalkeeper Simon Moore to deal. The City stopper was called into action late on but in truth, Robins' troops were the more likely winners of the stalemate with Viktor Gyokeres and Ben Sheaf having the visitors best attempts at goal.

Speaking post-match, Robins said, "The fact we have come here and really gone toe-to-toe is testament to all the work that has gone on over the last four or five years. We were leggy at the end, they worked us really hard, but that is what happens when you play against top players. I can't be too critical - the work-rate was good and so was some of the quality."

Bowyer rages after Birmingham defeat

Birmingham boss Lee Bowyer was left fuming after a mistake by the officials left Blues with a mountain to climb at Hull. The opening goal of the 2-0 defeat came in controversial circumstances after Ryan Longman appeared to take the ball out of play in the build-up to George Honeyman's strike. But Birmingham failed to keep their compose thereafter.

The visitors had Gary Gardner sent off for headbutting Josh Magennis and with the midfielder departed, Blues' hopes of getting back into the game faded in a forgettable afternoon at the MKM Stadium. Hull effectively wrapped up the points before the hour mark and City goalkeeper Matija Sarkic prevented further damage with a few late saves.

Post-match, Bowyer was critical of Gardner but even more angry about the mistake that led to the opening goal. He said, "It was clearly out - it wasn't even close. Everyone stopped, waiting for the whistle. The players gave everything second half, but it's tough when you go down to 10. Gary (Gardner) will get punished for that - it's not acceptable and I believe, with 11 v 11 on the pitch, we go on and win."

Sky Blues odds-on favourites

Coventry and Birmingham have not been regular competitors over the past decade or so and when the duo have crossed swords, games have tended to be tight affairs. The two teams have played out five draws in the most recent six meetings across all competitions, and there's also been five stalemates across the last seven league match-ups at Coventry.

Coventry 1.855/6 have exceeded all expectations to sit comfortably inside the top-six of the Championship with underlying performance metrics suggesting Mark Robins' men are good value for their strong position. The Sky Blues boast an excellent W7-D1-L1 return from fixtures at their CBS Arena base, racking up an eye-catching 19 goals in the process.

Birmingham 4.507/2 have arguably been the second-tier's biggest underachievers compared to data outputs. Lee Bowyer's team are rated as a top-six side on Expected Points (xP) with the Blues' strong defensive performances giving the group the supposed platform to push-on. However, the guests have W0-D2-L4 at top-seven teams, firing five blanks in six.

Coventry City

  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L

Birmingham City

  • W
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • Coventry City 1 2 Queens Park Rangers
  • Peterborough United 1 4 Coventry City
  • Coventry City 1 0 Derby County
  • Coventry City 0 1 Millwall
  • Huddersfield Town 1 1 Coventry City
  • Coventry City 1 2 West Bromwich Albion
  • Birmingham City 2 1 Barnsley
  • Fulham 6 2 Birmingham City
  • Preston North End 1 1 Birmingham City
  • Birmingham City 0 0 Plymouth Argyle
  • Birmingham City 1 2 Queens Park Rangers
  • Blackburn Rovers 4 0 Birmingham City

Coventry City vs Birmingham City Tuesday 23 November, 19:45

Full stats

Hosts can edge tight tussle

Coventry's home contests have tended to be entertaining with only four grounds averaging more than the Sky Blues' 2.88 goals per-game. Five of the eight outings here have produced Over 2.5 Goals 2.0421/20 profit with Mark Robins' men scoring multiple goals themselves on six occasions. Both Teams To Score has also banked in six of the eight CBS Arena clashes.

But Birmingham are rarely embroiled in high-scoring showdowns. Just four clubs are delivering fewer goals per-game than the Blues' average of 2.17, and that figure drops to just 2.00 when Birmingham play away. Seven of those nine fixtures have featured Under 2.5 Goals and ticking 'No' in the BTTS column has been the right bet on eight occasions.

In a tricky game to call, the 2.3811/8 available on the Sportsbook for Coventry to win and Under 3.5 Goals looks our best option of attack considering the hosts' flying home form and Birmingham's stubborn resilience on the road.

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