The Sky Blues take on in-form Portsmouth this evening in as they look to continue their unbeaten league start in 2020. Here’s everything about tonight’s opponents.
Name - Portsmouth Football Club
Founded - 1898
Stadium - Fratton Park
Capacity - 20,620
Nickname - Pompey
Address - Frogmore Road, Milton, Portsmouth, Hampshire.
Pitch Size - 115 x 73 yards.
Coventry - Sky Blue Home Kit
Portsmouth - Purple Third Kit
Portsmouth come into this fixture as one of the form teams in the division, losing just two of their last 24 games. Pompey encountered an indifferent start to the season but have hit form at the right time and are currently on a win streak of nine consecutive games.
Portsmouth currently occupy one of the play-off positions in League One, are in the 5th round of the FA Cup and the semi-finals of the Leasing.Com trophy. The south coast side are the only team in the third tier to be unbeaten on their own patch so far this term.
Pompey’s resurgence in form is in no small part down to their solid defence, conceding just 29 goals so far this season. The form of Irish International Ronan Curtis has also been impressive with six assists and two goals in his last seven appearances in all competitions. Pompey will be hoping to improve on the play-off heartbreak of last season when they were defeated by Sunderland in the semi-finals.
Former Wales international defender Kenny Jackett is a manager with a wealth of Football League experience under his belt. He got his first crack at management at Watford- the club he spent his whole playing career at- in 1996. After having his playing career ended early by injury, Jackett was relatively early to the managerial game, taking the helm at the age of 34.
He spent one year at Watford as manager before a spell as Ian Holloway’s number two at QPR. He wouldn’t manage again until 2004 when he took over at Swansea where he won his first promotion, the EFL Trophy and the FAW Premier Cup on two occasions. He resigned in 2007, suggesting he no longer had the full backing of the fans and went on to take over at Millwall after a brief spell as Manchester City’s reserve team manager. In his six years at The Den, he led Millwall to two play-off finals and an FA Cup semi-final. Millwall won the second play off final and he left the club as a stable Championship outfit in 2013.
He led Wolves to the League One crown in 2014 and narrowly missed out on the play-offs in the following campaign. After Wolves were taken over by a Chinese consortium, Jackett was relieved of his duties. A very brief spell at Rotherham United followed before he took the helm at Portsmouth in 2017. He led Portsmouth to EFL Trophy success and a narrow play-off defeat last season after narrowly missing out on automatic promotion in the regular season.
Last Six Games:
W 1-0 v Bolton (A) League One.
W 2-1 v Scunthorpe (H) EFL Trophy.
W 4-2 v Barnsley (H) FA Cup.
W 2-0 v Lincoln (A) League One.
W 2-0 v Sunderland (H) League One.
W 2-0 v Tranmere (A) League One.
Last Time We Met:
Coventry and Portsmouth played out one of the most memorable matches of the season in their early season clash at Fratton Park. Coventry had an early lead through Jordy Hiwula after a cross from new signing Matty Godden who teed up his strike partner after a 60-yard pass from captain Liam Kelly. The lead was short lived as Ronan Curtis scored a powerful back post header just seven minutes later.
Portsmouth took control of the game as goals either side of half time from John Marquis and Gareth Evans looked set to condemn Coventry to their first defeat of the season. City’s night got worse as full back Fankaty Dabo was sent off for a handball that prevented Pompey grabbing a fourth.
With fifteen minutes to go 10-man Coventry battled bravely as Matty Godden halved the deficit from the penalty spot. The Sky Blues’ momentum was seemingly foiled as substitute Gervane Kastaneer was dismissed for two quick fire yellow cards on 78 minutes.
Even with nine men City didn’t give up and Michael Rose had a goal chalked off for offside. Another long throw from Sam McCallum made its way into the area with four minutes to go and this time Rose was onside to side foot into the corner and seal an incredible fightback for the Sky Blues, maintaining their unbeaten start to the campaign.
Coventry Wins- 18
Portsmouth Wins- 17
Merseyside born midfielder David Thompson rose all the way through the ranks at Anfield and made nearly 50 league appearances for the Reds across four years. A skilful midfielder Thompson played his part in a Liverpool team full of stars scoring goals against Chelsea and Sheffield Wednesday under Gerard Houllier.
In 2000 Thompson joined the Sky Blues and he was part of a Coventry side that was relegated from the Premier League and many tipped Thompson to move on, however he stayed for the following campaign, eventually ending his time at Coventry with a respectable 15 goals in 66 matches.
Thompson moved on to Blackburn and back to the Premier League and his form saw him called up the England squad in 2002, however injury curtailed his resurgence in form at Ewood Park. Thompson joined Portsmouth via a season at Wigan Athletic but failed to make a mark at Fratton Park, departing for Bolton after just one season and 12 games on the south coast.
Forward Conor Chaplin is another successful graduate from the Portsmouth youth system, first signing professional terms with the club in 2014. Chaplin was highly rated at his boyhood club but often used as an impact player from the bench. He was part of the Portsmouth side that won promotion back to League One in 2017.
In the summer of 2018, Chaplin was subject to interest from other clubs and he eventually joined Coventry at the end of August after a long summer of speculation. He initially joined on loan with the deal being made permanent the following January. Chaplin spent one season in Sky Blue and scored eight times, doing enough to persuade newly promoted Championship outfit Barnsley to pay for his services in the summer.
Chaplin has had an impressive first season in the second tier in a struggling side and has already beat his goal return from last season with a good portion of the campaign still left to play.
Scott Oldham is the referee this evening’s fixture; it represents the third Sky Blues game he has officiated this season following games against Exeter and Sunderland.
Oldham has taken charge of 29 games so far this term, dishing out 74 yellows and three red cards.
He will be assisted on the night by Darren Wilding and Simon Shaw, with Karl Evans acting as the fourth official.