Saturday 26th August 2023
(10th) Coventry City v Sunderland (15th)
Coventry Building Society Arena
Tickets & Match Coverage
Tickets: Tickets are available at www.safc.com.
TV/Stream: Full live match coverage has been selected for overseas television broadcast please check at www.safc.com if streaming is available in your location.
Radio: Full live match commentary available via BBC Radio Newcastle (not online)
After putting our first three points on the board last weekend at the Stadium of Light against Rotherham United, we would probably have preferred any other fixture than a trip to Coventry City – because our record against the Sky Blues doesn’t make for pleasant reading.
In 23 visits to the West Midlands to take on Coventry, we have only ever recorded three victories, with the last one coming way back in April 1985. We are also on a run of six games without a win over Coventry home and away, with the last victory coming back in 2007 at the Stadium of Light. This, in turn, is part of a stretch of only five wins in the last 25 competitive fixtures against them.
It doesn’t make for great reading - although hopefully all that will go out of the window at 3pm this afternoon. What might be in the back of the minds of some of the players will be our trip to the Coventry Building Society Arena back in February, where we had one of our off days last season and Mark Robins’ side took full advantage.
After last week’s poor start and change of shape mid-game, it’s anyone’s guess what Tony Mowbray might start with today - especially with the update this week that Patrick Roberts will likely be out until after the international break in September.
Whatever he goes with, it would be useful to build on last week’s positive result going into the final week of the transfer window.
Last season was the fourth successive year where Coventry City have improved on the previous league position. And, if they pull it off again, it should mean they’re in for some season ahead.
Manager Mark Robins has had the task of picking his side back up again following defeat at Wembley to Luton Town, a task that has not been helped by losing big players that were vital in the Sky Blues' journey to the play-off final.
Top scorer and one of the best players in the Championship last season, Viktor Gyokeres, signed for Sporting Lisbon, while influential midfielder Gustavo Hamer signed for Premier League new boys Sheffield United.
Big money has been spent to replace and strengthen, especially up top where the club’s transfer record was broken to bring United States international striker Haji Wright from Turkish side Antalyaspor and of course, the familiar face of Ellis Simms also made a big money move to the West Midlands.
After three games, there are signs that they could well threaten the top six once again. A defeat at Leicester City on the opening weekend was followed up with an impressive 3-0 home win against Middlesbrough, and last weekend, they were maybe disappointed to have only taken a point from their trip to Swansea City.
Having started their home record off with such an impressive win, they will be looking to continue that against the Lads this afternoon.
The bookies have the home side as firm favourites this afternoon at 11/10, while the Lads and a draw are both priced at 12/5.
Head to head... at Coventry
- Sunderland wins: 3
- Draws: 6
- Coventry City wins: 14
- Sunderland goals: 23
- Coventry City goals: 45
Last time we met... at Coventry
Saturday 25th February 2023
Coventry City 2-1 Sunderland
[Allen 25’, Gyokeres 89’ - Diallo 90’]
Sunderland: Patterson, Hume, Batth, Ballard, Alese (Bennette), Michut (Ba), Neil (O’Nien), Clarke (Pritchard), Diallo, Roberts, Gelhardt (Ekwah) Substitutes not used: Bass, Lihadji
Coventry City: Wilson, Norton-Cuffy, Bidwell (Godden), McNally, McFadzean, Doyle (Rose), Allen, Hamer, Gyokeres, Eccles, Palmer (Wilson-Esbrand) Substitutes not used: Moore, Dabo, Maguire, Walker
Played for both...
Stern John signed for Sunderland for an undisclosed fee during the 2007 January transfer window after three successful years at Coventry City.
Chipping in with the odd important goal and being an effective option as substitute to see games out, John was that something different we needed to see us over the line. He would go on to be a makeweight in the deal that brought his Trinidad and Tobago teammate Kenwyne Jones to Sunderland from Southampton the following season.