Sky is Far From Blue for Crisis Club Coventry City

Coventry supporters threw flares onto the pitch to disrupt the game at Northampton.

Coventry supporters threw flares onto the pitch to disrupt the game at Northampton.

One thought that it was a misprint when one was viewing the various English League One markets on Oddschecker but, no, BetVictor is willing to let punters get odds against about Coventry remaining anchored to the foot of the ladder.

Coventry should be odds on to collect the English League One wooden spoon. Coventry is five points below second-bottom Chesterfield, with Bury, Oldham and Swindon another one, two and three points respectively ahead of the Sky Blues. Even though Coventry has English League One games in hand on a couple of its relegation rivals, the Sky Blues are not playing sufficiently well to capitalise on them. One thinks that Coventry would be odds on for the English League One wooden spoon if it was not such an illustrious club, one that competed in the English Premier League in 2001.

Coventry is not only bottom of the English League One ladder but also ranked last on the five-, 10- and 15-match form standings so why is BetVictor offering odds of +162  about the Sky Blues winning the English third tier’s wooden spoon?

It stands to reason that the key to Coventry – or any team for that matter – getting out of trouble is making the most of its home games because only two English League One sides – Peterborough and Milton Keynes – have been more productive on the road than at their regular base. So one is going to focus on the English League One home schedules of Coventry and its four closest rivals – Chesterfield, Bury, Oldham and Swindon. Port Vale is in terrible form but it is 11 points in front of Coventry and it boasts a match in hand as well.

Coventry has nine English League One home games remaining and they are versus the teams ranked fifth, sixth, eighth, 10th, 11th, 12th, 17th, 19th and 20th. So Coventry does not get to host any of the other three teams in the English League One relegation zone currently – indeed, it has to visit two of them, starting with Oldham on Saturday.

Russell Slade, who accepted the poisoned chalice of Coventry coach two months ago, is trying to remain positive but the Sky Blues have lost each of their last four English League One matches without scoring a goal and they will need to double their points tally in their last 17 games having managed to accrue just 21 points so far this campaign.

Understandably, Chesterfield is the English League One wooden spoon second favourite. Chesterfield has a eight-nine home-away split compared to Coventry’s nine-eight and the Spireites have yet to host just three English League One sides lower than 13th. One fears for Chesterfield’s English League One status but the Spireites did beat Coventry 1-0 last month and the Proact Stadium result was a fair one considering the most commonly cited match statistics.

Third-bottom Bury has English League One’s leakiest defence but some distance but the Shakers are the division’s fourth highest scorers and, in times of trouble, one would prefer to bet on a high-scoring team than a low-scoring one. Bury has a nine-seven home-away split to go and five of the sides ranked lower than 14th on the English League One ladder have yet to visit them. Bury has the arsenal to turn around its English League One season and certainly not finish last.

Oldham and Swindon are the other couple of English League One teams that have a realistic chance of ending the event as its wooden spooner. Oldham’s English League One wooden spoon odds will blow like the wind if it beats Coventry at home on Saturday, while Swindon’s remaining games include hostings of Oldham and Chesterfield plus trips to Bury and Coventry. It will only take one or two favourable English League One results for Oldham and Swindon to put a big gap between themselves and bottom-of-the-ladder Coventry.

Coventry to finish Bottom of League One
Season 2016/17
Odds:  +162