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Match Previews

PREVIEW: ALBION V COVENTRY CITY

15 February 2018

Kieran Cleeves
Albion play Coventry City in the fifth round of the Emirates FA Cup.

Brighton & Hove Albion welcome Coventry City to the Amex Stadium on Saturday afternoon, as the teams battle it out in the fifth round of the Emirates FA Cup, kick-off 3pm.

The Seagulls progressed to the last 16 with victories over Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough, while the Sky Blues beat Maidenhead United, Boreham Wood, Stoke City and MK Dons.

It will be Coventry’s second visit to the Amex after the 2011 meeting, which ended in a 2-1 victory for Albion - with Romain Vincelot bagging the winning goal for Gus Poyet’s team.

Victory for either side will take them to within one step of an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley Stadium - with the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur also looking to get there.


TEAM NEWS:

Chris Hughton explained that Jiri Skalak (ankle) and Steve Sidwell (ankle and back) remain his only two absentees through injury and otherwise has a full-strength squad to choose from.

Coventry City manager Mark Robins has not ruled out Michael Doyle and Jack Grimmer from being available for Saturday’s game at the Amex, with the pair making progress from their respective injuries.


FORM:

ALBION: Chris Hughton’s men are four games unbeaten in all competitions, which includes their 1-0 FA Cup victory over Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium last month.

Glenn Murray struck the winning goal to book Albion’s place in the fifth round - while also scoring either side of Albion’s trip to Teesside, in a 1-1 draw against Southampton and 3-1 victory over West Ham United.

The Seagulls drew 1-1 against Stoke in their most recent Premier League fixture, which saw Mathew Ryan save a last-gasp penalty, following Jose Izquierdo’s opener that was cancelled out by Xherdan Shaqiri.


COVENTRY CITY: The Sky Blues have lost three League Two fixtures in a row - most recently losing 2-1 to Colchester United on the road, after defeats to Accrington Stanley and Forest Green Rovers.

January was a better month for Mark Robins’s team, as they won five games out of six - including the 2-1 giant-killing of Stoke and the 1-0 victory over MK Dons in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

In amongst those results were victories over Cambridge United, Swindon Town and Chesterfield, with their only defeat coming against Exeter City at St James Park.


LAST TIME OUT: ALBION

STOKE CITY 1
Shaqiri 68

ALBION 1
Izquierdo 32

ALBION: Ryan; Schelotto, Duffy, Dunk, Bong; March (Knockaert 86), Stephens, Propper, Izquierdo; Gross (Kayal 79); Murray (Ulloa 71).

Subs not used: Krul (GK), Bruno, Goldson, Locadia.


LAST TIME OUT: COVENTRY CITY



COLCHESTER UNITED 2
Ogedi-Uzokwe 27 (pen)
Mandron 88

COVENTRY CITY 1
Bayliss 56

COVENTRY CITY: Burge; Willis, McDonald, Hyam, Stokes; Vincenti, Bayliss, Kelly (Reid 90), Shipley; McNulty, Biamou (Clarke-Harris 62).

Subs not used: O’Brien (GK), Kelly-Evans, Haynes, Barrett, Ponticelli.




PLAYER TO WATCH: Marc McNulty

The striker has been in good form for the West Midlands club this season, scoring 16 goals in 32 appearances across League Two, the FA Cup and the Checkatrade Trophy.

McNulty moved from Dundee United to Sheffield United for the start of the 2014/15 season and helped the club reach the League One play-offs, scoring 13 goals in all competitions.

Spells at Portsmouth and Bradford City came before his move to Coventry at the start of the 2017/18 season - and the Scotsman has been a mainstay in Robins's team so far this campaign.

The 25-year-old has featured in 28 League Two games for the Sky Blues this season, hitting the back of the net 11 times in his last 14 league appearances - which shows the striker’s form heading into Saturday’s cup clash.


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