Coventry vs Cardiff (Match Preview)
Cardiff City travel to managerless Coventry City tonight for an important game at the Ricoh Arena. The Bluebirds will be looking to re-capture their form after successive defeats while the Sky Blues must strive to improve their league position after a poor series of results saw manager Iain Dowie sacked this week.
A lack of consistency seems to have underlined Coventry's season, and though they lost 1-0 to fellow strugglers Preston, they thrashed Barnsley 4-0 previously and also scored 4 goals away at the Hawthorns against the impressive West Brom. However, 5 defeats in the last 6 makes for depressing reading and CCFC lie perilously above the Championship relegation zone.
The home form is not so bad for the Sky Blues and they have picked up two wins in their last 3 games at the Ricoh. Coventry have also not participated in a league 0-0 draw all season, in a run stretching back 39 games.
There is undoubted quality in the Coventry ranks, and they are not to be underestimated. Michael Mifsud and Leon Best form a lively pairing in attack with Mifsud having 9 league goals (more than any Cardiff player) and another 7 in cup competitions. Jay Tabb in midfield is another attacking threat while former Cardiff City loan player Julian Gray is well known to Cardiff fans and always provides danger and quality with his left foot.
Cardiff City have lost their way recently and have suffered back-to-back victories at the hands of Stoke City and Norwich City. Prior to that, their form was excellent and resulted in league prizes for manager Dave Jones and midfielder Joe Ledley.
Cardiff slipped in the table but remain marginally outside the play-off positions and could climb to 6th if results go their way.
Dave Jones has hinted at freshening up the squad although Darren Purse, Steve Thompson and goalkeeper Peter Enckelman are likely to be the only changes he will consider.
This is an important game for both sides though for differing reasons. A change of manager can give renewed confidence to a side and Cardiff must not be complacent. However, if City are to succeed this season - these games are a must win. Coventry City are simply there for the taking and Cardiff must exploit their lack of form and confidence.
I see this being a tight contest until Cardiff break the deadlock and score a 2-0 victory. That would be a good result, and the players must make it happen. Another defeat is unthinkable and would again cast Dave Jones' position under doubt.