Match Preview: Leicester City vs Coventry City

The etymology of the M69 Derby is unclear. My first recollection of the term being used was in November 1999 when Match of the Day researchers (presumably in an effort to make their second featured game of the day seem a little more juicy) coined it for a 1-0 victory at Highfield Road by the Foxes. Nevertheless it now holds the dubious rank of the 26th fiercest rivalry in English football.

The unconvincing nature of the rivalry neatly coincides with Coventry’s less than convincing season. The Sky Blues had climbed as high as 5th only to collapse in their last dozen fixtures. Aidy Boothroyd’s men have won just once in their last 12 league games, failing to score in six of them, and now find themselves in 16th. Playoff hopes have been dashed, but it’s highly unlikely that Coventry will end up in the relegation dogfight. However, with Preston likely to exit via the Championship’s trap door, Coventry’s one claim to fame next season is likely to be that they will be the division’s longest serving tenants having arrived here in 2001.

Leicester fans worried about Boothroyd’s boys raising themselves for the big game will be pleased to learn that Coventry have lost all 11 meeting with sides in the current top six, and they’ve yet to beat any team currently in the top nine. Indeed, Leicester’s failure to win at the Ricoh Arena was one of the freak results of the season so far when you remember the chances Leicester created, and missed. In the last meeting Coventry managed a single attempt on target, Leicester 11. The hosts won 2 corners, the visitors 11. Leicester held the lion’s share of possession too, but thankfully it’s likely the Foxes will create a not dissimilar amount of chances on Saturday afternoon, and this time they ought to have the capacity to finish them.

In doing so, Leicester would be likely to continue their excellent home form. Despite losing and failing to score for the first time in 2011, Sven remains unbeaten at home in the league as Foxes boss and 12 games without defeat is the club’s best run at this level since 1989/90. Another point would see City on their best undefeated home run at this level since 1956/57 (17 matches).

Mr Graham Scott will take charge of proceedings. His season included Leicester last home league defeat, a 2-0 reverse by next weeks opponents QPR. He was also the man who dismissed four players in Leyton Orient’s 8-2 extra-time victory over Droylsden in this season’s FA Cup. I wouldn’t bet against a card or two tomorrow.

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