When the 2022-23 season begins for Coventry City on Saturday afternoon against Reading, they will try to make it five consecutive Championship triumphs.
Sky Blues have won 12 points in their past four games, moving them up to 12th place in the league, while Reading is tied for 13th place with them on points.
EFL Championship Match Preview: Reading vs Coventry City
Since 2012-13, Reading has played in the Championship, finishing third in 2016-17.
The Royals ended 21st last season, top four above the bottom three, after finishing seventh in 2020-21. Fans would have expected a big improvement this season.
As a reminder of how rapidly things can change in this year’s Championship, the squad now sits in 13th place with 29 points after 21 matches, six points above the relegation zone and just two points outside the playoffs.
In their last encounter before the World Cup, Paul Ince’s team beat Hull 2-1, their first win since October 22.
Reading lost both Championship meetings against Coventry last season, including a 3-2 loss in the equivalent fixture, and they have only defeated their opponents this weekend twice since April 2010.
Before the season ended, Coventry won four consecutive games, maintaining four clean sheets, against Blackburn Rovers, Watford, Wigan Athletic, and Queens Park Rangers.
The Sky Blues are 12th in the standings, tied with Reading, and two points from the playoffs coming into the next batch of games.
Coventry only played 19 times this season. Thus their place in the standings is even more impressive.
Reading has the fifth-best home record in 2022-23. Mark Robins’s team has won three, drawn four, and lost three of its ten league road matches this season.
Coventry, promoted from League One in 2019-20, has finished 16th and 12th in their previous two Championship seasons. They have not played in the Premier League since 2000-21.
EFL Championship Team News: Reading vs Coventry City
Due to injuries, Tom McIntyre, Naby Sarr, and Scott Dann are all out for Saturday’s Reading match.
Meanwhile, Mamadou Loum, Baba Rahman, and Junior Hoilett were all in the World Cup, making them all questionable for this encounter and leaving Ince to make a late decision on their participation.
If Hoilett isn’t selected, the Royals have options in Lucas Joao up top, Andy Carroll in the hole, and Shane Long in a wide position.
Fankaty Dabo, Martyn Waghorn, and Matt Godden are still out for Coventry due to injuries.
However, the Sky Blues haven’t sent any players to the World Cup, so Robins has been free to train the first team throughout the holiday break.
We may start the same eleven that faced QPR last time, with Viktor Gyokeres, who has nine goals in the Championship this year, up top.
- Reading Predicted Starting Lineup: Yiadom, Holmes, Bouzanis, Mbengue, Fornah, Hendrick, Abbey, Long, Meite, Ince, Joao.
- Coventry City Predicted Starting Lineup: Doyle, McFadzean, Wilson, Eccles, Panzo, Hamer, Sheaf, O’Hare, Bidwell, Gyokeres, Allen.
EFL Championship Match Prediction: Reading 1-2 Coventry City
The break undoubtedly came at the worst possible moment for the Sky Blues, given Coventry’s recent record has been fantastic. Reading looked great in their last outing, but they may be without many starters this weekend, so we’re leaning toward giving this one to Coventry.