This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Terrace Talk‘ series, which provides personal opinions from our FLW Fan Pundits regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Coventry City are desperate to pick up where they left off during the last campaign and get off to a flying start against Sunderland.
The Black Cats are back in the Championship after four seasons in League One and they too will be eager to get going and prove that the club can cut it in the second tier again.
With new boss Alex Neil familiar with the division as well, he’ll fancy his chances at leading the side to a victory in their first game even if the fixture is against a side that had play-off aspirations last time around. Mark Robins has done excellent work with the Sky Blues and could get his side firing again immediately in this opening weekend.
Quiz: 20 statements about former Coventry City players – Are they true or false?
However, Coventry City’s Football League World fan pundit Neil Littlewood doesn’t share the optimism over this first fixture. Instead, it appears that the club are likely to lose this game against Sunderland if you ask him, with the pundit labelling it as a ‘massive game.’
There is a lot riding on this fixture considering it is the opening weekend, with Sunderland certainly desperate to make sure that they open the new season with a win or at least some points on the board. They’ll certainly be up for the clash then and that could work against Coventry and their own bid to start the promotion push off early in the season.
Speaking about the game then, he said:”Pessimist hat on, I think we’re going to lose or possibly nick a draw. I think it’s a massive game for Sunderland, first game back in the division after a few years down in the doldrums of League One.
“They’re riding the crest of a wave after getting promotion back up here, full house, I think they’ve got 38,000 season tickets, you know, 2,000 Cov fans, you’re looking at 40,000 minimal in the stadium and for a lunchtime kick-off, I think the place will be rocking.
“The only way I think Cov can get anything out of that is that you need to shut the home fans up early doors. Sunderland fans have been quite toxic in the past, when they turned against the club, they turned against them in a bad way and I think it’s Cov’s only hope, we’ll weather that early storm and then go from there.
“On paper, I think we’re the better side by a country mile but the occasion and what it means, I think it is possibly the worst possible fixture we could have had as a club.
“I say this now, I think we’re going to lose 2-1 but then again, it wouldn’t surprise me if we go and win 3-0. We’re unbeaten in our last four against Sunderland so there are reasons to think that we can do it but ever since the fixture came out, I’ve just got this horrible feeling that we are going to lose.”
Coventry are a solid club but will they be one of those teams that end up dropping down the division after a big push for promotion in the last campaign?
Led by boss Mark Robins, you would fancy them to, at the very least, be in the top half of the Championship again. They have some talented players and a striker who can guarantee goals in this division and that makes up a first-team squad that can cut it with most teams in that league too.
However, Sunderland and Alex Neil will not be an easy team to take on. The Black Cats will be delighted to be playing second tier football and the club’s supporters will certainly be behind them as Neil says.
Considering that the club have also recruited well this summer and have Ross Stewart determined to continue his goalscoring exploits and the side could certainly get a win over the Sky Blues. It could go either way – and it’ll certainly make for an interesting watch during the fixture.