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Stat Attack: Goalkeeping crisis at Coventry City ahead of trip to Notts County


Joe Jones

Head to head

Notts County and Coventry have met just 39 times in the last 98 years.

The first encounter took place on the 6th November 1920, the match at Meadow Lane ending in a 1-1 draw.

The last one, meanwhile, was at the start of the 2017-18 season, and it proved a rude awakening for the Magpies as they fell to a 3-0 loss at the Ricoh Arena.

There have plenty of high-scoring games between the two, with several 5-1s, 3-0s and 4-2s over the years.

Notts County have the upper hand in the head-to-heads – 19 victories over the Sky Blues, 12 defeats and 8 draws.

The Magpies are unbeaten in their last seven home league matches against Coventry.

Coventry's last away league win at Meadow Lane was in August 1963, when they won 3-0.

Stats

Notts County are winless in their last four League Two matches (D2 L2), failing to score in each of their previous two games - they last went longer without a league goal back in November 2016 (a run of four).

Coventry lost 6-2 to Yeovil last time out; prior to this game the Sky Blues hadn't conceded more than two goals in a League Two game this season, whilst the six goals conceded were more than they had let in in their previous seven league matches,

Maxime Biamou has scored each of Coventry's last three League Two goals, including a brace last time out in their 2-6 defeat against Yeovil Town.

History

The club was founded in 1883 from employees of the cycle (and later car) manufacturer Singer Motors and changed its name from Singers FC to Coventry City FC in 1898.

In 1891-92, the club turned professional and won three separate cups that season (The Birmingham Cup, The Wednesbury Cup and The Walsall Cup).

Local businessman David Cooke (later to become chairman) produced a 'Three Cups Tobacco' to celebrate the event.

In 1898, as well as renaming the club, there was a move to a site of Highfield Road in the Hillfields district of the city, the stadium they called home for the next 106 years.

The club became a registered Limited Company in 1907 recording a capital of £2,000 in 5-shilling shares.

Coventry City were originally known as 'the Bantams' (a nickname shared with Bradford City) before adopting their sky blue identity in the early 1960s.

Coventry were first called the Bantams in December 1908 after the local newspaper noted that they were one of the few clubs who did not have a nickname.

Being the lightweights of the Southern League, the Bantams was suggested and stuck with the press and supporters.

They remained as the 'Bantams' until the summer of 1962 when Jimmy Hill re-christened them the 'Sky Blues' and the club switched to an all sky blue kit.

In 2001, Coventry were relegated from the Premier League after 34 years in the first tier. At the time, only Liverpool, Everton and Arsenal could boast longer tenures in the top flight.

A year later, they were relegated to the third tier in English Football for the first time in 48 years, and now, they have slipped down into the bottom tier, compounding a Portsmouth-like fall from grace.

Coventry’s current stadium, the 32,609-capacity Ricoh Arena, was opened in August 2005.

Following a rent dispute with the ground's owners the club opted to play their home games at Northampton Town's Sixfields Stadium starting in the 2013–14 season, a move which didn’t prove popular with Sky Blues fans.

On 21 August 2014, it was announced that an agreement had been reached allowing the club to return to the Ricoh Arena for the next two years with the option of another two years.

It has been reported that there will be a relocation to another site within the city, as the tenancy with the Ricoh Arena expires in August 2018.

The last update on this has seen mediation talks take place between the Sky Blues, rugby club Wasps and Coventry City Council, but as of yet there has been no resolution.

The club’s proudest moment was undoubtedly the 1987 FA Cup final at Wembley, which was won by the Sky Blues thanks to an enthralling 3-2 win after two hours of football.

Following Tottenham Hotspur player Gary Mabbutt’s own goal in extra time, which set Coventry on the way to their win, a fanzine was created called GMK – Gary Mabbutt’s Knee.

Team News

Notts County manager Kevin Nolan is expected to make changes against Coventry.

Seven changes were made at Accrington Stanley on Monday given the quick turnaround in Easter games, as he Carl Dickinson, Matty Virtue, Liam Walker, Noor Husin, Rob Milsom, Ben Hall and Jonathan Forte, who started as a lone striker in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Rhe likes of Shaun Brisley, Dan Jones, Elliott Hewitt, Terry Hawkridge, Liam Noble, Shola Ameobi and Jon Stead will all be vying for recalls, and Jorge Grant is also a starting option after starting the last two matches on bench.

Coventry have problems in goal as they prepare for the trip to Meadow Lane.

Goalkeepers Lee Burge and Liam O'Brien, who each conceded three goals on Monday as the Sky Blues were beaten 6-2 at home by Yeovil, are both nursing injuries and will be assessed.

Corey Addai, who has been on loan at non-league Dulwich Hamlet, is on stand-by to play.

Midfielder Carl Baker is also being monitored as he seeks to shake off an illness, while Maxime Biamou staked his claim for a starting place with both of Coventry's goals against Yeovil following his introduction from the bench.

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