Coventry City scraped through to the Second Round of the League Cup for the first time in four seasons with a 1-0 victory away at Dagenham & Redbridge and now welcome Championship side Birmingham City as they look to progess to the Third Round in their first match since Andy Thorn was relived of his duties on Sunday.
The last time the Sky Blues did reach the Third Round was a memorable night in September 2007 when they travelled up to Old Trafford to face Premier League side Manchester United under the stewardship of Iain Dowie. Two goals from Michael Mifsud saw the Sky Blues upset the Premier League Champions, and come home with a 2-0 win.
Coincidentally, this was the last time City defeated high league opposition in the League Cup.
Caretaker managers Richard Shaw and Lee Carsley will be looking to make an impression and stake their claims for the vacant manager’s hot seat when they take charge for the visit of The Blues.
Gary McSheffrey could step off the bench into a starting berth to face the club Coventry sold him to for four million pounds back in 2005, however with Steve Jennings, Adam Barton and Carl all impressing in the first half against Bury on Saturday, if McSheffrey was to be awarded a starting place, captain Kevin Kilbane would probably drop into defence with Reece Brown dropping to the bench.
Shaw and Carsley may also be able to call upon John Fleck, however it is likely if he is fit enough to take part, it is likely to be from the bench.
Jordan Clarke could also return after missing the last two matches, however David Bell is ruled out.
Birmingham manager Lee Clark will be looking to avoid a slip up to a lower league side and hope his team can find the winning formula following a draw and two consecutive defeats to start their Championship campaign. Just like Coventry, their only win this season was in the First Round of the League Cup as they eased to a 5-1 victory at home to Barnet.
Birmingham defender David Murphy is doubtful due to a knee problem whilst Stephen Carr is not ready to return from a thigh injury, and midfielder Keith Fahey is set for another three weeks out with a groin strain.
Marlon King: Controversial character Marlon King signed for the Sky Blues at the start of the 2010/2011 season following the appointment of Aidy Boothroyd; a previous manager at Watford where they gained promotion to the Premier League. After a slow start to life at The Ricoh, King finished the season as City’s top goalscorer with 12 goals in 28 games, before ‘verbally’ agreeing to sign a new contract. Birmingham then offered King a contract, which the Jamaican international signed, where he finished last season having made 40 appearances and scoring 16 goals. King has also played for Barnet, Gillingham, Nottingham Forest, Leeds United, Watford, Wigan Atheltic, Hull City and Middlesbrough.
Gary McSheffrey: Coventry born McSheffrey made his debut for the Sky Blues against Aston Villa at the age of 16 years and 198 days on 27 February 1999, a game that Coventry won 4–1, then becoming the youngest player ever to play in the Premier League, a record which has since been broken. Following various loan spells, McSheffrey made himself one of the first names on the teamsheet before Birmingham came in with a near £4m offer, which was simply too good to turn down. After helping fire Birmingham to the Premier League, McSheffrey found himself being sent out on loan, before eventually his Birmingham contract expired, and Aidy Boothroyd bought him back to the Ricoh Arena.
Scott Dann: Centre-back Dann joined Coventry from Walsall in January 2008 from League One side Walsall alongside team-mate Daniel Fox in a deal reported to be in excess of £1m. Dann quickly impressed the Sky Blue fans, and he was made captain. Dann then went on to join Birmingham City in the Premier League, where he picked up a League Cup winner’s medal, before relegation back to the Championship at the end of the same season. Dann is currently working with ex-Coventry City assistant manager Steve Kean at Blackburn Rovers.
Lee Carsley: Current caretaker manager Carsley has captained both Coventry & Birmingham in the Premier League and Championship.
OVERALL (ALL COMPETITIONS)
Coventry City: 16
Birmingham City: 23
Last time we met:
Coventry City 1-1 Birmingham City
Coventry and Birmingham shared the points in a lacklustre West Midlands derby at the Ricoh Arena. Former Blues forward Gary McSheffrey headed the home side into the lead with 20 minutes left. But only two minutes later Marlon King, who played for Coventry before joining The Blues, got on the scoresheet, tapping in from a Peter Ramage cross. Substitute Jordon Mutch was sent off for Birmingham late on for an apparent elbow on Alex Nimely.