Coventry vs Stoke predictions: Sky Blues to remain grounded
- Coventry have lost their last four games
- Stoke are unbeaten in their last four games
- Recommended bet: Stoke to win
Losing the 2022-23 Championship play-off final was always going to hurt Coventry, but their current form hints it has hit them harder than even they might have expected and they could be in further trouble ahead of the visit of Stoke on Saturday.
There is no doubt the Sky Blues overperformed last season, inspired by since-departed striker Viktor Gyokeres' goals, but boss Mark Robins must be feeling the heat with his team winless in five.
That run has left them sitting 20th in the second tier, seven places and five points below the Potters, who have recovered from a tough start and are unbeaten in four.
Defensive improvement has been critical to their success and they will be looking to use those strong foundations to get the job done in Warwickshire.
Liam Kelly (hamstring), Kasey Palmer (groin) and Fabio Tavares (leg) are all sidelined for Coventry and are not expected to return until later this month.
Robins could make changes to try and reinvigorate his side, with Josh Eccles and Callum O'Hare candidates to come back into midfield.
Stoke boss Alex Neil has Tyrese Campbell (leg) and Lewis Baker (unknown) sidelined, but Jordan Thompson is available again after serving a suspension.
Coventry have failed to win their last five Championship games, drawing against Norwich before losing to Bristol City, Rotherham United, West Brom and Preston.
They failed to score in the first three of those defeats, but netted twice at Preston, with Haji Wright grabbing both of those goals.
Stoke have won two of their last three away games, with Mehdi Leris scoring in both of those successes.
The Potters have avoided conceding in their last three games, while they also kept a clean sheet in this fixture last season, winning 4-0 to grab their first away win over the Sky Blues since April 2008.
Coventry have lost only once at home this season, going down 2-0 to West Brom in their last match in front of their fans.
Draws have been their enemy, tying on four occasions on their own patch, while their defensive record is also worrying.
Robins' side have kept just one clean sheet either home or away since August and improving Stoke will look to exploit their fragility.
The visitors have hardly been free-scoring, struggling to a 0-0 draw with Cardiff last time out and have managed to score three or more goals in a single game just twice in the league this season.
However, Coventry's confidence could be at rock-bottom and Stoke's knack for grinding out results based on their stern defensive foundations could stand them in good stead.
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