Sixteenth faces seventeenth in League One on Boxing Day as Doncaster Rovers – managed by Paul Dickov – welcome Steven Pressley’s Coventry City to South Yorkshire.
The respective managers are former international teammates but will both be hoping that their sides can push on in to the top half of the division after inconsistent openings to the season.
No one has been more inconsistent than Dickov’s Doncaster, who after losing to Gillingham at home, then went and inflicted defeat on high flying Swindon Town.
Though Coventry have only lost once in their last seven games, they have won just twice on the road this term.
The last time the two clubs met was during the 12/13 season and the Sky Blues were the only side to do the double over the Keepmoat outfit.
A first meeting, in December 2012, yielded a resounding 4-1 win for the visitors in which goals from Franck Moussa and David McGoldrick (2) put the visitors in command before the hour mark. While Chris Brown netted a consolation for the hosts, Adam Barton’s emphatic finish underlined the rout.
The return was scarcely better for Brian Flynn’s men who, aiming for promotion, were gunned down at the Ricoh Arena when they gave Cyrus Christie the freedom of the penalty area after just thirteen minutes.
His solitary strike proved to be the difference between the sides on the day and the hosts finished the season seven points clear of the drop, while Rovers won the division with 84 points.
Last time out (29th March 2013):
Coventry 1 (Christie, 13)
Coventry - J Murphy, J Stewart, W Edjenguele, A Martin, C Christie, F Moussa, C Baker (D Bell, 83), J Bailey, J Fleck (C Thomas, 89), A Barton, C Ball (C Wilson, 72)
DRFC – G Woods, J McCombe, A Griffin, T Spurr, J Husband (D Furman, 46), R Jones, J Lundstram, J Coppinger, D Cotterill, C Brown, I Hume (K Bennett, 66)
Head to head league results (in Doncaster):
Rovers – 4
Coventry – 1
Draws – 5
Rovers – Kyle Bennett and Nathan Tyson are rated as “50/50” to make the game against Coventry. Rob Jones and Marc De Val are likely to be out until the New Year, while Jamie McCombe is showing signs of improvement.
Coventry – Seb Hines is definitely ruled out, while doubts linger over the fitness of forwards Frank Nouble and Josh McQuoid.
Fancy a flutter? Rovers 6/5, Draw 12/5, Coventry 11/5
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