Coventry City will welcome Notts County to the Ricoh Arena on Saturday looking to kick-start their Sky Bet League Two season...
Venue: Ricoh Arena
Competition: SkyBet League Two
Date: Saturday, August 5th
The Sky Blues ended their pre-season on a four-game unbeaten run after wins against Mickleover, MK Dons and Nuneaton along with a goalless draw with Liverpool.
Notts County make the short trip down the M1 on the back of similar form with wins over non-league sides Ilkeston and York City.
The Magpies finished 16th in League Two last season, but their form picked up dramatically after John Sheridan was sacked on the back of nine successive defeats over the Christmas period.
Since then Kevin Nolan, who initially joined as manager before converting to player-manager once the club’s transfer embargo was lifted, has fared far better than his predecessor winning ten of his last twenty games and dragging his side well out of relegation danger.
The Magpies have three former Sky Blues amongst their ranks. Richard Duffy made 64 appearances over four loan spells with the club including 34 appearances in the 2005-06 season where the Sky Blues finished 8th in the Championship.
Alongside Duffy in the first-team are Carl Dickinson and Jon Stead who both enjoyed shorter periods at the Ricoh Arena. Dickinson made six appearances at left-back while Stead found the net twice on-loan from Ipswich in 2010.
Up-front with Stead in County’s attack are experiences heads Lewis Alessandra and Jonathan Forte along with former Newcastle striker Shola Ameobi. The Nigerian made 312 top flight appearances in the North-East scoring 53 goals along the way including 15 in Europe. Last season Ameobi managed four goals in League Two.
Premier League and League Cup winner with Manchester United plays Alan Smith. The 36-year-old has been a regular since moving to Nottinghamshire in 2014 and even took charge of the side for a single game after the sacking of Sheriden.
City’s last victory against Notts County came in 2013 when a brace from Leon Clarke and a stunning solo run from Callum Wilson capped off a 3-0 victory at Sixfields. Since then the two-sides have met three times with County coming out the better on two occasions before 2015’s goalless.