After a demoralising away defeat at Crewe, the Sky Blues will be looking for an immediate pick-me-up as they return to the Ricoh for their first ever Johnstone’s Paint Trophy encounter. Welcome to the Northern area first round (yep, Northern) – here is League Two’s Burton Albion.

How are they getting on?

At first glance, they’re not entirely dissimilar to us. OK, it’s a league below, but they’ve taken three points out of their opening four league games – just like Coventry. And they’ve won their first two cup games of the campaign – just like Coventry.

But as you start to root, you see that things aren’t quite the same. Three out of those four have been defeats, which in itself isn’t brilliant. Then you look at their other league game which was a 6-2 demolition of Wimbledon and are all confused again. What in the name of God is this team?

If that 6-2 tonking didn’t get you wondering, you should probably know that they’ve also had two giant-killing away victories in the league cup; Leicester and Sheffield United. So that’s three impressive wins already. The gits.

Who could cause us trouble?

Former Bolton youngster Cleveland Taylor is top scorer with three to his name, including an all-important strike to put them 2-0 up against his home town club Leicester. As we can vouch for, it takes a certain amount of ambition and bottle to grab a second goal away from home, especially when the temptation can be to settle. It’s been a decent start for him.

Calvin Zola’s also a name you might recognise, even if that is from an old version of Football Manager. He’s not the most glamorous of footballers, and he’s had his injury issues, but he scored 12 goals for The Brewers last season, including a particularly useful flurry in the second half of the campaign. There’s talk of him being rested following their 3-0 defeat at the weekend, but it’s never a particularly stressful game at the Ricoh, so you never know.

Sky Blues team news

After the lacklustre defeat to Crewe, Shawsy (as everyone except me calls him) will be desperate to liven the team up again. His big issue is that he has very little options in the midfield, and may be forced into fielding a similar looking line-up in these positions.

The perennially injured David Bell is still sidelined, and John Fleck doesn’t appear to be ready. However, big Dickie Wood is pretty much fit again, so may find himself back in the team.

Prediction

I want to say we’re going to win, but we’re just not there at the moment. By there I mean we haven’t settled down into the season yet. There’s no late night for the kids this week, as JPT rules stipulate it goes straight to pens if all is level at the final whistle. This means that’ll probably happen. I predicted a win on the Nii Lamptey Show, but now I can see another draw. Let’s say 1-1, followed by pens.

They’ll then win 19-18, or something.

 

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