Can Middlesbrough come out victorious against Coventry City?
Everything you need to know about Middlesbrough's upcoming opponents Coventry City.
A good performance against Cardiff City has helped to balance out Middlesbroughs form card as the side has gained 1.4 points per game over the last 5 fixtures and so they will be going into the upcoming match against Coventry City with relative confidence. Meanwhile their counterparts are currently struggling for form and need to get points on the table if they wish to maintain their place in the league.
Mark Robins lead the Sky Blues to promotion last season and so their side lacks guaranteed Championship talent but their current Leister City loanee Matthew James has a wealth of experience in this league and they will hope that his knowledge at the base of midfield will help the side survive in the Championship.
Coventry City's Season So Far:
While the Sky Blues appear to be in a relatively good position to ensure they keep their place in the league, as Birmingham City sit as a barrier between themselves and the relegation zone, the West midlands based side only have a 6 point advantage over Rotherham United, in the highest relegation spot, and could make up this gap with the sides two games in hand. In this situation it is imperative that Coventry City put points on the board in order to further the gap between themselves and the drop.
The side is far from prolific going forward as they have scored just 0.9 goals per game placing them 18th in the goal per game table and yet it is the better side of the teams game as they concede 1.3 goals per game placing them joint 20th. This defensive weakness is highlighted in the sides 9 clean sheets placing them between 16th and 20th which shows that the side leaks goals far too frequently.
However there are some positives to take away from their season so far as they have lost fewer games than the other sides at risk of relegation and equally have found the knack for getting a point out of clashes as their 11 draws sit above their closest rivals and this ability may well prove key to helping the side survive.
Coventry City's Form:
The nature of the Championship fixture list means that sides often face a flurry of sides from the top and bottom of the league and that has been the case for Coventry City in recent weeks as they have face Cardiff City, Norwich City, Brentford and Swansea in their last 5 games while the 6th latest fixture was a draw to promotion chasing Watord. It is unfair to put too much wait on these recent fixtures for Coventry as the fixtures are far from relative to the quality of the league overall.
Coventry has done pretty well in gleaning 4 points from these difficult fixtures thanks to a 2-0 win over Brentford and a 1-1 draw with Blackburn Rovers. Even though this point return is below their seasons average of 1.06 it must be considered as an overall victory or the Sky Blues and so they should be going into their next match against Middlesbrough with a steady confidence.
Top Goalscorer: Gustavo Hamer, Tyler Walker (5)
Most Assists: Callum O’Hare (4)
Most Yellow Cards: Leo Østigard (8)
Most Red Cards: Gustavo Hamer, Kyle McFadzean, Leo Østigard, Michael Rose (1)
One to Watch: Gustavo Hamer
Most top goal scorers are found in the top of the pitch with strikers and wingers typically getting more opportunities to score goals than their midfield and defensive teammates but this is not the case for Coventry as Tyler Walker shares the top plaudit with midfielder Gustavo Hamer. There are usually two key reasons why a midfielder ends up at the top of a teams goalscoring table. The first is not having very prolific forwards and the second is that the midfielder is an interesting talent. In this instance, there may be a kernel of truth to them both but there is no doubting the fact that Hamer is a talented player.
Ajax is typically considered the masters in Dutch youth development with the side utilising their academy as a key component to their financial planning and their ability to compete against the best. However they are not the only Dutch side that have a knack for producing talented players as Feyenoord are also capable in this area of football and Hamer was one such product. Unfortunately he only made two senior appearances for the Rotterdam side before signing for PEC Zwolle for £270,000 in 2018. He quickly became a favourite for the Eredivisie side as he was involved in 11 goals in 50 appearances. These displays gained the interest of Coventry City who committed £1.35m to bring the player to the Riccoh Arena. Since he arrived at Coventry City, the Dutchman has made 31 appearances for the club scoring 5 goals and providing 2 assists in all competitions.
Fans from other clubs have been quick to name Hamer as the most talented player for Coventry and the player earned the interest of Rangers in the winter window but the player didn’t join the Ibrox based club. However the current Scottish Premiership leaders’ interest indicates how impressive the player is.
Gustavo Hamer (highlights):