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Now the fun can really begin.

It’s been a stop-start initiation to the new campaign for old Neil, what with the early Sixfields fixtures, a¬†gleeful Ricoh Return, followed by a holiday getting in the way of the Yeovil game. Maybe I’m not the only one – I’ve been madly excited about it all, but at the same time¬†felt at a distance.

Well I’m ready now. I want you to Football me, football. Football me in and around¬†my regions.

foot-ball [ňąf ätb…Ēňźl]
verb

Immerse Neil Allison¬†in the game of football so he can’t think of anything else; To football:¬†Please football me¬†Coventry.

This and the next couple of games will be the period¬†when the season finally comes alive, I’m sure of it. And it will¬†be nice to focus on something worthwhile and¬†not¬†this¬†nonsense with Wasps, as nattered about last night.

Everyone loves a game against Preston. They’re¬†usually¬†intriguing and hard-fought affairs, with the JPT victory still a strong contender for best footballing moment of the 21st century.

Let’s mull over¬†how¬†things are going to go today.

How are they getting on?

It’s been a decent¬†start for Simon Grayson’s men.¬†They were one of¬†the teams to catch the eye¬†in the pre-season predictions, and they’ve¬†begun¬†their quest for promotion strongly with just the solitary defeat. They’re 8th at the minute, just a victory off 2nd, having played a game less than most.

If you want to look at it differently though – and let’s face it, I’ve made it my duty to do so –¬†their recent form’s not been outstanding. They’ve won once in their last four games. Sounds bad doesn’t it?

But in other news, they won their last match – sounds¬†better¬†doesn’t it?

Actually, they’re unbeaten in two – on a good run aren’t they?

In conclusion, it’s far too early to tell just where they are, but the signs are good for Preston.

Who could cause us trouble?

It’s difficult to look beyond Joe Garner with his 6¬†goals already and inherent ability at being good. He’s scored in the 3 consecutive games, so¬†is going to be flying.

One player who I’m always keen on is Paul Gallagher, and while I’ve not seen too much of him in recent years, he can’t have lost his way too much.¬†I’d be wary of his ability, especially if you give him a chance to shoot.

They’ve also got Kyel Reid who was on the bench in their last match, but is another player who on his day is capable of causing issues. He’s mates with Frank Nouble by all accounts,¬†so¬†this could prompt him to show off more than usual.

Sky Blues team news

John Fleck’s still struggling following being¬†removed¬†in our last match, and there is¬†some concern about Nouble who’s been feeling under the weather this week.¬†I can’t deny that I’m concerned about this – Fleck has the capability to control matches at this level, while Frank Nouble currently thinks he’s the best player in the league and we desperately need to harness than confidence.

Jack Finch came in for a lot of praise for his performance in the second half in place of Fleck against Rochdale, but it’s one thing giving a young lad¬†a half when the options are limited, and another starting him in the next game when you’ve had a week to plan alternatives. We’ll have to wait and see how¬†Pressley is¬†thinking.

Pugh came back into the side for Haynes last week and acquitted himself reasonably well. There’s a part of me who would rather¬†Haynes’ dynamism, but¬†Pugh is¬†pulling his weight with the assists too, so¬†either way, we should be OK on the left.

The big call is up front. Tudgay has come in for quite a lot of criticism, while McQuoid has shown a strong eye for goal in¬†his limited chance so far.¬†If Nouble’s out, which I don’t think he will be*, I’d stick McQuoid in there with Jackson.

* Load of rubbish. He is. Ignore me.

Predictions

There was a real mixed bag in this week’s podcast.¬†Maybe it’s just the excitement of being at the Ricoh talking, but I really fancy a good¬†performance again. My Lamptey colleagues seem to use¬†stronger logic and based their thinking on our most recent form, leaving them¬†slightly more reserved.

Neil: Coventry 2 – 1 Preston

Joey: Coventry 0 Р1 Preston

Paul: Coventry 1 – 1 Preston

So, what you thinking? Share your prediction below:

[statsfc-score-predictor team=”Coventry” date=”2014-09-27″ key=”jwLfbovUFY4PyCDRgPz8zjsNB2nGAjTOLVQlXlAJ” default_css=”true”] [tabby title=”Podcast”]

This week: The Lamptey reassembly is complete. Newlywed Joey returns to the Nii line up and joins in the dissection of a fairly abject week of results.

Contains rude words for the owners of a certain Rugby club.

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