Pride is a powerful motivator and, while Coventry is doomed to relegation from English League One, one thinks that it may power the Sky Blues to a fourth consecutive home win when they host fellow crisis club Charlton on Saturday.
Supporters of Coventry and Charlton are planning a joint protest against the owners of their respective sides, both of which were playing in the English Premier League in 2001. Coventry was one of England’s longest serving top-flights teams before it experienced relegation in 2001, while Charlton has not graced the English Premier League since 2007. Coventry and Charlton fans combined to protest when they clashed in English League One in October, a match that the Sky Blues lost 0-3 to the Addicks at The Valley.
Normally one would run the proverbial country mile from a bottom-of-the-ladder home team that had lost the reverse English League One fixture 0-3 and trailed its opponent 6-3-14 according to one’s collateral form analysis. But situational factors mean that Coventry is overpriced at odds of +230 with Betfred to post a weekend win over Charlton.
Coventry has played its best football of its dismal season since Mark Robins agreed to become its manager for a second time. Robins, the former Manchester United striker whose English FA Cup goal at Nottingham Forest is widely credited with saving Alex Ferguson from the sack in 1990, earned many brownie points during his first spell in charge of Coventry and the Sky Blues has won four of its eight games across all competitions since he rejoined them. Coventry’s recent form is light years ahead of Charlton, which has probably hired a dud, overrated boss in ex-Milton Keynes coach Karl Robinson. Charlton is 5-11-10 in its 26 matches across all tournaments since Robinson succeeded Russell Slade at the Addicks and he is struggling without the financial support that he received during his lengthy tenure in charge of Milton Keynes.
For Coventry to avoid relegation it would need to win each of its four remaining English League One games and rely upon most of its relegation rivals failing to post another win; it is possible but highly improbable. But Coventry will not want to have its fall into English League Two confirmed on its home pitch; the Sky Blues have too much pride for that.
Charlton’s 50 points from its 42 English League One matches may be sufficient for it to avoid dropping into England’s fourth tier. Charlton has a sufficiently soft schedule – its last four English League One fixtures are against Coventry, 20th-placed Gillingham, 23rd-placed Chesterfield and 22nd-placed Swindon – to keep its head above water but one cannot understand how bookmakers have installed the Addicks as favourites for their Saturday assignment on the road.
One has no interest whatsoever in backing Charlton at short odds to win at Coventry because the Addicks have lost each of their last four away games and they are 0-2-5 on their travels since the end of January. One’s tissue price about Coventry posting its fourth home victory in a row was +150 so odds of +230 are 10 per cent over one’s assessment.
Coventry to beat Charlton
Friday 14th April, 15:00 BST
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