English FA Cup

Coventry v Maidstone: Back a home victory and both sides to score

Coventry manager Mark Robins
Robins' side need to bounce back at home

Ryan Deeney makes his picks ahead of the FA Cup Fifth Round as National League South Maidstone United continue their epic FA Cup tale at Championship Coventry City...

  • Maidstone have proven they can cause EFL teams problems

  • Coventry will be out to avoid following Ipswich Town in a shock FA Cup exit

  • Back the hosts to win and both sides to score at 6/52.20

Coventry City v Maidstone United - Mon, 19:45

Maidstone United's epic FA Cup journey continues when they travel to Championship play-off hopefuls Coventry City in the Fifth Round of the FA Cup hoping to make even more history.

George Elokobi's side became the first team below the 5th tier of the English pyramid to reach this stage of the FA Cup since Blyth Spartans managed it in 1978 and they've gone the hard way about it, seeing off EFL promotion contenders Barrow, Stevenage and Ipswich Town to reach this point.

The Stones are clearly enjoying big occasions, seeing off National League South champions elect Yeovil Town and another full-time club in Torquay United since their win at Portman Road. Yet their shock FA Cup Fourth Round win counts as their only win in eight on the road - including 5-1 and 4-0 thumpings.

So which Maidstone United are we going to see on Monday night? The one their division has seen in recent weeks or the one with magic in their boots ready for another big occasion to set up a dream quarter-final against Manchester City, Chelsea or Liverpool?

Coventry enjoying FA Cup life at home

Coventry City's FA Cup experience has been far less taxing. Rather than playing seven games, they have played three. In their two home matches, they have scored ten goals. It's been relatively comfortable.

Perhaps the most notable aspect of their matches so far has been the strength of the side fielded. They have beaten League One Oxford United, whose form has been indifferent since an enforced change of manager, and an under-strength Sheffield Wednesday, whose primary concerns are fighting relegation, with close to a full first-team out.

Will they do that again here? It's questionable. They had lost one of their previous 17 and been unbeaten at home since the end of October when they hosted Preston North End on Friday night only to come out 3-0 losers and face fellow play-off contenders West Bromwich Albion this coming Friday.

Even if they make changes, the expectation is that they will be fielding players with plenty of experience rather than blooding the kids. Bradley Collins, Liam Kelly, Josh Eccles and Matt Godden are amongst those expected to return.

Home experience should count

One theme for both sides is goals. Coventry have seen both teams score in their last five FA Cup ties and all four cup matches this season as well as 11 of their last 13 in all competitions while Maidstone had seen both sides score in the eight matches preceding their 2-0 loss at Aveley last Monday.

The Stones have proven they can find the net against EFL opposition in the last few rounds - especially midfielder Sam Corne, who has scored in their last three ties - and they will fancy their chances against a Coventry side likely to make some changes. They have the physical capabilities at the top end of the pitch to cause problems. You can back Elokobi's men to score a goal at 8/11 and both teams to score at 4/5.

However, an experienced Coventry City side should get over the line in front of a home crowd used to seeing them win matches - especially as they look to respond to Friday's heavy defeat. For that reason, 6/5 for a home win and both teams scoring appeals most.

Back Coventry to beat Maidstone & both teams to score @ 13/102.30

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