Coca-Cola Championship Matchday Twenty Three: Coventry City v Barnsley
By Rob Miles (Barnsley Boy)
Updated Saturday, 9th January 2010
Reds boss Mark Robins has no injury concerns for the trip to bogey side Coventry City- one of only seven games in the top four divisions to survive the weather. Ryan Shotton and Carl Dickinson are set to make their second league "debuts". They last featured in the Championship in the 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace. Jacob Butterfield is fighting to hold onto his starting place in the side instead of Adam Hammill whilst Robins could also shake up his forward line.
Adam Hammill/ Jacob Butterfield
Anderson De Silva
Andy Gray/ Jon Macken
Head To Head
Barnsley may be on their best run at this level for years, but they face a real bogey side in Coventry City. Barnsley haven't beaten the Sky Blues in the last 10 meetings, stretching back to the Premier League season and have conceded four goals in a game on four occasions during that stretch. The Reds haven't returned from the Midlands with three points since 1923 and have only won there twice in their history- in 1921 and 1923.
The two sides have met seven times since Barnsley's promotion back to the Championship in 2006, and the Blues have won six of the meetings- the only respite coming last season when The Reds came within seconds of a first victory at Coventry in 86 years. Back in April, Daniel Bogdanovic put The Reds in front after just nine minutes at the Ricoh Arena and they were clinging on for three vital relegation points until referee Steven Cook controversially ruled Rob Kozluk had handballed in the area in the 93rd minute and Elliott Ward rescued Coventry a point.
Apart from this, Barnsley have received some severe maulings from Chris Coleman's side, including a run where three in four meetings saw Coventry plunder four goals- 4-0 in February 2002, 4-1 in March 2007 and August 2007 and 4-0 in February 2008, two of those maulings coming at the plush Ricoh Arena.
Coventry have also been Barnsley's first home game of the season for the past three years, with inevitably Coventry winning them all, including this season when they triumphed 2-0 at Oakwell courtesy of strikes from Leon Best and Clinton Morrison. Put it this way, Coventry supporters will be looking forward to this match far more than the Yorkshire folk risking the bad weather to travel the 100miles down the country.
Last six Coventry v Barnsley results:
15/8/09 Barnsley 1-2 Coventry (Championship)
21/4/09 Coventry 1-1 Barnsley (Championship)
16/8/08 Barnsley 1-2 Coventry (Championship)
2/2/08 Coventry 4-0 Barnsley (Championship)
11/8/07 Barnsley 1-4 Coventry (Championship)
17/3/07 Coventry 4-1 Barnsley (Championship)
Coventry Wins: 23
Barnsley Wins: 14
Coventry Goals: 84
Barnsley Goals: 62
At Coventry (21 at Highfield Road, 3 at the Ricoh Arena):
Coventry Wins: 16
Barnsley Wins: 2
Coventry Goals: 55
Barnsley Goals: 21
It has been another season of struggle for Coventry, despite another good start. For the last three seasons the Sky Blues have started the season with a decent unbeaten run but then fallen apart. They started 2009-2010 with two wins and a draw- including the obligatory three points from Oakwell- but then won just one of the next seven, and the season has unfolded with a similar pattern. Between the third of October and the ninth of December, they failed to win in 10 matches, but then won three on the bounce, before losing 2-0 at Nottingham Forest last time out.
This inconsistent form has left Coventry in 17th position, seven points above the relegation zone but a hefty eight points off the play-offs. They are, however, blessed with the talents of ex Red Michael McIndoe.
Due to the postponements of six Championship matches today, Barnsley will move into the top half of the table if they extend their unbeaten run to nine matches with victory. It would be a landmark occasion for the Reds, as nine matches undefeated at this level is something they haven't achieved since 1992, and they haven't been in the top half of English football's second tier at this stage of a season since the 1999-2000 season when they sat pretty in third, and eventually made the play-off final.
Overall playing record for 9th January:
Coventry have only played 11 times on the 9th January but have won six of those matches, losing just three. They haven't though played on this date since 1999 when they defeated Nottingham Forest 4-0 in a Premier League encounter. Darren Huckerby grabbed a hat-trick with Paul Telfer also on target. Their last defeat on this date also came against Forest. A solitary Ian Woan strike ensuring Forest took the points back to Nottingham in 1993.
Coventry: Played 11, Won 6, Drawn 2, Lost 3, Scored 16, Conceded 8.
Barnsley have had 15 games on the 9th January but won just three of them, the last being in 1988. Their last fixture on this date was also back in 1999 when they lost 2-0 at West Brom.
Barnsley: Played 15, Won 3, Drawn 4, Lost 8, Scored 18, Conceded 27.
Last six 2009-2010 Results
2/1/10 Portsmouth 1-1 Coventry (FA Cup)
28/12/09 Nottingham Forest 2-0 Coventry (Championship)
26/12/09 Coventry 1-0 Doncaster (Championship)
19/12/09 Plymouth 0-1 Coventry (Championship)
12/12/09 Coventry 3-2 Peterborough (Championship)
9/12/09 Coventry 0-2 Newcastle (Championship)
W: 3 D: 1 L: 2 F: 6 A: 7 GD: -1 Points: 9
2/1/10 Scunthorpe 1-0 Barnsley (FA Cup)
28/12/09 Barnsley 2-1 Middlesbrough (Championship)
19/12/09 Crystal Palace 1-1 Barnsley (Championship)
12/12/09 Barnsley 2-2 Newcastle (Championship)
9/12/09 Barnsley 1-1 Scunthorpe (Championship)
5/12/09 Blackpool 1-2 Barnsley (Championship)
W: 2 D: 3 L: 1 F: 8 A: 7 GD: 0 Points: 9
Coventry lie in 17th place in the Coca-Cola Championship with 28 points from 24 games.
Barnsley lie in 15th place in the Coca-Cola Championship with 30 points from 22 games
Coventry could go as high as 14th with victory whilst Barnsley could go as high as 11th.
Sunday, 10 January 2010