We have a Coventry v Middlesbrough preview plus betting odds for you ahead of Sunday’s EFL Championship Play-Off semi-final First Leg.
Coventry City v Middlesbrough Match Info
Venue: Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry
When? Noon, Sunday the 14th of May
What Channel? Sky Sports Football, Sky Sports Main Event
Coventry City v Middlesbrough Odds
Coventry are 13/8 favourites in the betting odds for this first leg. Middlesbrough can be backed at odds of 9/5 while the draw is 2/1.
61% of betters are backing Coventry to win, 34% are going for the Draw while only 3% expect Middlesbrough to win (all percentages correct as of 5pm Wednesday evening, May 10th) despite them finishing ahead of Coventry in the table.
The Form – Coventry City v Middlesbrough
Coventry City’s Form
BoyleSports partners Coventry City are having a phenomenal season, following their 12th-place finish last season Manager Mark Robins has done a fantastic job guiding them to a fifth-place finish and a playoff spot.
Their record in the Championship this season was 18 wins, 16 draws and 12 defeats and they finished the season with three wins and two draws in their last five matches which ensured they will have a chance to win the playoffs and enter the Premier League for the first time since their relegation from the Premier League back in the 2000/01 season.
Middlesbrough finished the season comfortably in fourth position with 75 points. This was an improvement on their 7th placed finish last season. However, all was not always positive at the club, before former Man United player (and technically manager) Michael Carrick was appointed on the 24th of October 2022.
When Carrick took over the club were languishing in 21st position in the league with 17 points from 16 games played, only one point above the relegation zone. Carrick steered the ship though and since his appointment has had a very respectable record in all competitions with 18 wins, 4 draws and 9 defeats which is a win rate of 58.06%.
Middlesbrough had secured their playoff place with several games to spare and with automatic promotion out of the question they arguably took their foot off the pedal only managing a record of two wins, two defeats and one draw in their last five league games.
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Coventry City v Middlesbrough Preview
Coventry is likely to adopt a formation which allows them to operate with some variation of two players up-front with one supporting midfielder who will be looking to assist them in attack or a lone striker with two supporting attacking midfielders.
Coventry is proficient at counter-attacking football and creating chances through key passes or individual pieces of skill. With that being said they have a modest attack statistically with only the 58 goals scored this season six teams have scored more.
Their main threat in attack will be their Star Swedish Striker Viktor Gyökeres who has scored 21 goals and contributed 10 assists this season which is a direct contribution to 53% of their league goals. Another player to watch out for is Brazilian Midfielder Gustavo Hamer who has been putting in some phenomenal displays this season with 9 goals and 10 assists.
Middlesbrough usually operate with a flat-4 in the backline with Irish International Darragh Lenihan the leading man, only two outfield players have more than his 40 appearances this season for the club. Middlesbrough are strongest at defending set-pieces due to their ability in the air Lenihan leads the way with 5.2 aerial duels won per game.
One thing to note is that their 56 goals conceded this season suggests they can be got at defensively. Despite playing the offside trap often they get caught out regularly by leaving themselves open from through balls in-behind and skilful attacking play both of which are features of the Coventry attacking system.
Middlesbrough operates a possession-based game where they look to control the game inside the opposition’s half. They create lots of scoring chances from through balls or attacking the flanks, particularly down the right-hand side.
They have proved themselves to be extremely proficient finishers with their 84 goals making them the second-highest scorers in the division and only less than Burnley. Even if Coventry were to operate in a low block to restrict their chances up close, Middlesbrough has shown themselves to be capable of scoring from range also.
Their primary attacking threats are Attacking Midfielder Chuba Akpom who has scored 28 goals and 2 assists this season along with Cameron Archer with 11 goals and 6 assists since coming on loan from Aston Villa.
Expect Middlesbrough to operate with a sole striker in a 4-2-3-1 with the three behind supporting the frontman. They can also come from behind if they concede first.
Coventry manager Robins has built a strong unit who have only conceded 46 goals this season which is the fourth-best defence in the league this is built off stealing the ball from the opposition through interceptions and tackles which makes them tough to score against.
Their starman in defence is arguably Irishman and CB Luke McNally who arrived on loan from Burnley in January and has gone on to start in 19/19 games and earned huge plaudits for his performances at the back.
However, despite their watertight defence, there are areas which can be exploited, down the flanks they can be vulnerable and give up fouls in dangerous areas which aren’t ideal when they can be caught aerially.
Middlesbrough is good at coming from behind also while Coventry has been open to defending leads which means even if leading the tie will still be a quite open affair.
Coventry v Middlesbrough Prediction & Best Bet
Prediction: Coventry 1-1 Middlesbrough
This is a tough game to call I suspect home advantage to be crucial for Coventry and you wouldn’t bet against Gyökeres scoring. With that being said I don’t think Middlesbrough will lose this one so I’m going for a tight 1-1 draw.
Best Bet: Draw 2/1
We also recently previewed the Championship promotion odds ahead of the start of the Play-Offs.
Click Below For All Our Coventry v Middlesbrough Odds
*Prices subject to fluctuation
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