Match Preview ahead of tonight's JPT Area final against Crewe Alexandra...
Date: Tuesday. February 5th
Competition: Johnstone Paint Trophy
Venue: The Ricoh Arena
Coventry City welcome Crewe Alexandra to the Ricoh Arena for the first leg of the Johnstone Paint Trophy Area Final.
City go into the game full of confidence having recorded an impressive victory at Bramall Lane on Friday night against Sheffield United.
Leon Clarke’s match-winning brace secured a 2-1 victory in the Steel City despite Dave Kitson’s header initially leveling the tie in the second half.
Crewe Alexandra have enjoyed a good season so far after winning promotion from League Two last season.
Steve Davis was given the manager’s job in November 2011 and lead the side to promotion via the play-off’s after beating Cheltenham Town in the final.
With starlet Nick Powell joining Manchester United and striker Shaun Miller moving to Sheffield United in the summer, the Alex were expected by many to struggle this year.
However, the Alex find themselves placed neatly in mid-table and have grown a reputation this season for playing swift attacking football with former Wrexham striker Mathias Pogba leading the line.
Coventry has only played Crewe 19 times since 1925, and City has won nine of them.
The Alex has amassed six wins against the Sky Blues, four in the last five fixtures, and there has been four draws between the clubs.
Coventry’s most famous win over Crewe came in 2002 when Lee Hughes scored a hat-trick in a 6-1 win at Gresty Road.
Last five fixtures
01/09/2012 Crewe 1-0 Coventry City League One
25/03/2006 Crewe 4-1 Coventry City Championship
28/12/2005 Coventry 1-1 Crewe Championship
08/05/2005 Crewe 2-1 Coventry Championship
08/01/2005 Coventry 3-0 Crewe FA Cup
The Guadeloupe-born striker moved to Crewe Alexandra in the summer on a free transfer from Blue Square Premier side Wrexham.
The 22-year old started his career with Spanish side Celta Vigo before moving back to Paris, the city where he grew up, to play for fourth division Quimper.
He signed for Wrexham in 2010 after a successful trial and he was voted the Young Player of the Year last season.
A typical ‘powerhouse’ striker, Pogba attracted the attention of the Alex last season and signed for the club in the summer. He has had a successful start to life at Gresty Road, scoring 11 goals in all competitions this season.
The Coventry Academy product enjoyed a short loan spell at Gresty Road early in his senior career with the club.
He progressed through the ranks at the Academy and went on to make 122 first team appearances for Coventry over eight years.
He was loaned out for a short spell in 2006 at Crewe, where he made two appearances, and he now plays for Aberdeen in the Scottish Premier League.
The Nigerian-born journeyman striker has had successful stints at both clubs, starting his career with the Alex.
He progressed through the youth ranks at Gresty Road and went on to make 123 appearances, scoring 39 goals. His form earned him a move to Birmingham City and then Crystal Palace before moving to Coventry.
He stayed at the club for five years making 163 appearances for the club, scoring 31 goals.
The former Manchester United striker had loan spells at both clubs before moving to America to continue his career stateside.
Whilst at Old Trafford, Johnson was loaned out to get first-team experience at Royal Antwerp, Crewe Alexandra and Coventry City.
Whilst at the club he scored five goals in 26 appearances and had a similar record at Crewe, also scoring five goals but making 22 appearances.
Johnson is currently a free agent after a spell with Major League Soccer side Portland Timbers.