Coventry vs West Brom predictions: Baggies are bouncing under Corberan
Coventry missed a golden opportunity to put themselves right into the promotion play-off mix last weekend, throwing away a three-goal lead in the final 25 minutes against Swansea.
Sky Blues supporters had been watching on in delight as their team turned around a dismal start to the season to rise through the Championship with a string of victories prior to the World Cup break.
But there will be concern now that the break came at a bad time for Mark Robins’ team, who have returned to action with defeat at Reading and that dispiriting 3-3 home draw against Swansea
The Coventry head coach will be determined to see his side get back into the winning habit this weekend but his side faces a tough task against a West Brom team who have been transformed under Carlos Corberan.
The former Huddersfield manager has led the Baggies from 23rd in the Championship to a position where he will be looking to leapfrog Coventry and battle for a top-six finish.
Coventry will be without forward pair Tyler Walker and Matt Godden, who are out until January with knee and ankle injuries respectively.
Key centre-back Kyle McFadzean will also be out until the new year with a calf tear.
Baggies manager Corberan may not risk starting Daryl Dike twice in the space of four days as the striker has only just returned from a lengthy injury lay-off so the USA international may have to settle for a place on the bench.
West Brom will be without Kean Bryan — who is hoping to return from an ACL injury by the end of January — and defender Semi Ajayi, who has a shoulder injury and may be out until the new year.
Central defender Kyle Bartley is a doubt with a thigh strain but his injury is not thought to be too serious.
The pre-World Cup section of Coventry’s 2022-23 campaign was split into two distinct sections as they took just seven points from their first ten games but then claimed 22 points from the next nine.
However, in the two games since the resumption of the Championship campaign, the Sky Blues have lost away at Reading and thrown away a three-goal lead to draw 3-3 with Swansea.
West Brom’s upturn in form under Corberan has been spectacular — the club took just 14 points from their first 16 matches but have beaten that tally within just six games under the Spanish head coach.
Corberan lost his first match in charge to highflying Sheffield United but then led the Baggies onto five consecutive victories, with West Brom scoring nine goals in that run and conceding just once.
West Brom look a different team under Corberan and all the noises coming out of the Baggies camp are positive.
A strong squad always felt like it had been underperforming under Steve Bruce and it is no surprise to see them now realising their potential to swap a relegation scrap for a drive towards the play-off places.
There is depth and quality to the West Brom squad and Dike’s recent return from injury further bolsters their goalscoring options.
Even without Dike, the Baggies had scored in nine of ten away league games and they have netted seven in their last three outings — over one West Brom goal in 90 minutes looks a solid option to add to a Bet Builder.
Despite their post-World Cup setbacks, Coventry are also heading in the right direction after a desperate start to the season.
Their home ground being unavailable at the start of the season undoubtedly had a negative effect on their progress — six of the Sky Blues’ first seven league games were away from home — but a run since then of seven wins in nine outings was flattering.
Robins’ men were fortunate in several of those matches and while they are a decent mid-table team, Coventry are not as strong as that sequence of victories suggest — and now they have been undermined by the loss to injury of key centre-back McFadzean.