Sunday 31st July 2022
Sunderland v Coventry City
Stadium of Light
Tickets & Match Coverage
Tickets: Tickets available here.
TV/Stream: Full live match coverage available via Sky Sports.
Radio: Full live match commentary available via BBC Radio Newcastle (not online)
All the nonsense of pre-season analysis and gossip is nearing an end as we once again usher in the start of a new season in the history of Sunderland Association Football Club. And what an important one it is.
Although we have left behind the inevitable expectation of promotion at all costs that being in League One came with, there is a huge emphasis on re-establishing ourselves as a Championship club.
We can probably assume that even though they have already done a bit of business, Alex Neil and the club will be working up to the closure of the transfer window to add more quality and depth to the squad.
It’s a challenge that we haven’t faced since we were promoted from Division Three back in the summer of 1988 as we take on Coventry City in front of the Sky cameras in an early kick-off to open the season, and I, for one, would be quite happy with a repeat of the mid-table finish we achieved over 30 years ago.
Coventry are a side who we’d quite like to follow, if I’m honest. Others might be in a hurry to challenge at the top end of the table (and I’d be quite happy if that was the case), but Coventry returned to the Championship after eight seasons away in the summer of 2020 and have done well to establish themselves back into the Championship over those two years.
It was only five years ago, in the summer of 2017, when the club were facing their first ever season in League Two – and five years later, the Sky Blues are coming off the back of finishing 12th in the second tier.
This rise back up the football ladder coincided with the appointment of Mark Robins as manager of the club for a second time, leaving previously in 2013 to take the post at Huddersfield Town.
It’s a pivotal year for Coventry and Robins as they attempt to improve once again and potentially challenge for a play-off place while not allowing themselves to take their eye off the ball and get dragged into a battle at the wrong end of the table that they could do without.
- Coventry have only won on Wearside once in the last 45 years, winning 5-4 at the Stadium of Light in April 2019.
- The Sky Blues previous victory in Sunderland before 2019 came in 1977, as they left with a 1-0 victory in Mick Docherty’s debut for Sunderland.
- The last time the two sides met at the Stadium of Light in the Championship ended in a 2-0 victory for the Lads in February 2007, with goals from Dwight Yorke and Carlos Edwards as Roy Keane’s Sunderland marched to the title.
- Before Coventry bagged five goals in April 2019, they hadn’t scored a goal on Wearside since Robbie Keane scored the opening goal in a 1-1 draw back in August 1999.
- Out of 36 League meetings between the two sides, 26 have been fixtures in the top flight.
- The previous ten meetings between the two clubs have all come outside of the top flight.
During 90 minutes, the bookies have it close but are slightly favouring a Sunderland win at 8/5, with Coventry City at 13/8, and the draw 9/4.
In terms of a correct score, a 1-1 draw is the shortest odds at 9/2, followed by 7/1 for a 1-0 for the Lads, although a 1-0 away is close behind at 15/2.
Head to head... at Sunderland
- Sunderland wins: 9
- Draws: 9
- Coventry City wins: 2
- Sunderland goals: 23
- Coventry City goals: 10
Last time we met... at the Stadium of Light
Saturday 23rd November 2019
Sky Bet League One
Stadium of Light
Sunderland 1-1 Coventry City
[Kimpioka 90’ - Hyam 26’]
Sunderland: Burge, O’Nien, Willis (Flanagan), Lynch, Hume, Maguire, Leadbitter, Dobson, Power (Watmore), McGeady, Grigg (Kimpioka) Substitutes not used: McLaughlin, De Bock, Ozturk, McGeouch
Coventry City: Marosi, Dabo, Mason, Rose, McFadzean, Hyam, Westbrooke (Allen), Kelly, Bakayoko (Hiwula), Walsh, Shipley (O’Hare) Substitutes not used: Wilson, Watson, McCallum, Kastaneer
Played for both...
Signing for Coventry for around £500,000 from Bradford City in 1992 propelled Phil Babb into the top tier of English football and led to a £3.6 million move to Liverpool in 1994, making him the most expensive defender in Britain.
Six years at Anfield followed before moving to Portugal and Sporting CP ahead of returning to England to join Sunderland on a free transfer in the summer of 2002 before retiring in 2004 at the age of 33.
Davenport was highly rated as he broke through the ranks at Coventry in the early 2000s and a move to Tottenham Hotspur followed three years of first-team football in 2004.
His time with Spurs was mainly spent out on loan until a move to West Ham United in 2007, but as he struggled to make the first team at Upton Park he made loan moves to Watford and Sunderland.
He played eight games for us at the end of the 08-09 season, but in that summer, a stabbing incident put Davenport’s career under threat. It turned out Davenport’s last professional game had been for us, subsequently playing a few seasons of non-league.