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First team

Media View: Expert insight on Coventry

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth will be looking to register a fourth successive win in the Championship when they host Coventry City on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

The Cherries followed up their convincing 3-0 victory against Swansea by lowering the colours of both Middlesbrough and Blackburn Rovers over Easter.

Coventry’s Jekyll-and-Hyde form was summed up when they suffered a 3-0 defeat at QPR on Good Friday before triumphing 3-1 against Bristol City at St Andrew’s on Easter Monday.

The Sky Blues have won just twice on their travels this season – at Wycombe in December and at Millwall in January. They have also drawn five times on the road.

However, Mark Robins’ team have fared much better at their temporary home at St Andrew’s, having claimed the scalps of Reading, Cardiff and Brentford among their eight wins.

Currently 20th and seven points clear of the drop zone, Coventry will be looking to avenge a 3-1 defeat by the Cherries in October.

Ahead of the clash, afcb.co.uk caught up with Clive Eakin who covers the fortunes of Coventry for BBC Radio CWR.

COVENTRY CITY IN PROFILE

Manager: Mark Robins (re-appointed March 2017)

Club captain: Liam Kelly

Last game: Coventry City 3-1 Bristol City (Championship)

Leading league goalscorer 2020/21: Tyler Walker (six in all competitions)

League position: 20th

Past six league results: LWLDLW

afcb.co.uk: How have the League One champions found life back in the Championship?  

CE: It’s been challenging but great to be back to this level after eight seasons in the lower leagues. 

The absence of fans has been regrettable but an added incentive to stay up for next season.

afcb.co.uk: Can you put your finger on why Coventry’s home and away form has been so unpredictable?

CE: It’s been puzzling.

Last season they did benefit from having a big away following especially compared to other League One clubs while crowds at home were hindered by playing in Birmingham so perhaps they’re missing their travelling support even more than other teams.

afcb.co.uk: Tell us a little about loan star Leo Ostigard (pictured above)?  

CE: He’s done well in the central three, although defensive errors by all at the back have been a recurring problem. 

He looks a threat at set-pieces and had been unlucky not to score until getting off the mark in the win over Bristol City.

afcb.co.uk: What’s behind a change of goalkeeper recently?

CE: Marko Marosi has been first choice since the start of last season but suffered a bad facial injury against Cardiff. 

Ben Wilson did well deputising and kept the shirt for a while even after Marosi recovered but, lately, Mark Robins has reverted to his original number one.

afcb.co.uk: Who is Coventry’s rising star? 

CE: Gustavo Hamer (pictured above) has attracted attention from elsewhere for his performances in midfield and Callum O’Hare has been impressive since signing permanently from Aston Villa.

afcb.co.uk: Are any first-choice players either injured or suspended against the Cherries? 

CE: Fankaty Dabo is reported to be ahead of schedule in his recovery from a hamstring injury but is unlikely to be back by this weekend. 

Defender Dom Hyam missed the Bristol City game because of illness while Michael Rose and striker Max Biamou remain doubtful because of injuries.

afcb.co.uk: What’s your score prediction? 

CE: The Sky Blues would certainly take a draw so I’ll go for 1-1.

You can follow Clive on Twitter – @cliveeakin

Officials: David Webb (referee), Adam Crysell (assistant), Mark Pottage (assistant), Tim Robinson (fourth official).

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