EFL Championship: The Fials
Stadium: Wembley Stadium
27th May 2023
Coventry City and Middlesbrough will go toe to toe in the finals of the EFL Championship Finals at Wembley Stadium. The winning team will get a ticket to Premier League. Who will come out on top after 90 minutes?Receive Your Welcome Bonus!
Coventry City form
On September 14, these two teams faced off at the CBS Arena, resulting in a 2-2 draw. At that time, Luton occupied the 18th position, while Coventry, despite being winless, languished at the bottom due to matches in hand caused by their pitch's poor condition.
Fast forward eight and a half months and both teams find themselves gearing up for a momentous occasion, particularly for Luton, who have never graced the Premier League. Although much has been discussed about Luton's time in the Conference Premier in 2013-14 and Coventry's relegation to League Two in 2016-17, these factors only constitute a fraction of the narrative leading up to the highly anticipated event at Wembley.
Initially, there was some dissatisfaction when Rob Edwards, previously associated with rivals Watford, was selected as Nathan Jones's successor at Luton in November. However, his appointment has proven to be a stroke of genius. Under Edwards' guidance, Luton has achieved sixteen victories and suffered only five defeats in his 31 matches in charge. Furthermore, Luton had embarked on a remarkable 14-game unbeaten streak before experiencing a setback in the first leg of their semi-final against Sunderland.
Nevertheless, that setback has now faded into insignificance, courtesy of Luton's resounding 2-0 triumph in the reverse fixture, where they outmatched the Black Cats with their tenacity and determination.
Coventry City Predicted Lineup
Wilson; McNally, McFadzean, Doyle; Norton-Cuffy, Hamer, Kelly, Sheaf, Bidwell; Godden, Gyokeres
Luton Town Form
The following day, Coventry faced Middlesbrough in the second leg of their semi-final, entering the Riverside Stadium as the underdogs. They aimed to secure the result that would bring them one step closer to ending a 22-year absence from the top flight.
Mark Robins's team had failed to produce a single shot on target throughout three halves of football in the two legs. However, Gustavo Hamer's brilliantly executed goal in the second half of the reverse fixture proved to be the decisive moment.
While defeating Boro in any manner is impressive, preventing the second-highest-scoring team in the division from finding the net over 180 minutes of play, including added time, is an even more remarkable achievement.
Coventry arrives at Wembley on a nine-match unbeaten streak, having suffered just one defeat in their last 19 games. Even the 4-0 loss at home to Stoke City, while significant, does not overshadow their overall form.
During the regular season, Luton scored only one more goal than Coventry, but the heavy defeat to Stoke City contributed to Coventry conceding seven more goals than their upcoming opponents throughout 46 games.
All indications suggest that this fixture will be closely contested, with small margins likely to determine the outcome. Remarkably, this match takes place 115 years after their first-ever encounter in the Southern League First Division.
Luton Town possible lineup
Horvath; Osho, Lockyer, Bell; Drameh, Clark, Nakamba, Mpanzu, Doughty; Adebayo, Morris
Coventry City vs Middlesbrough Expert Tips
Luton's success this season can be attributed in large part to their performances on the compact pitch at Kenilworth Road in the latter half of the campaign. Nevertheless, the Hatters have also experienced victories on their travels, and we believe that Edwards's team will manage to secure a narrow victory over Coventry. The Coventry side may be uncertain about their approach to this match, considering the success they had in their defensive efforts against Boro. Expect more than 2.5 goals in the game.