Coventry vs Oxford Prediction: Will Sky Blues slip up again in the FA Cup?

 | January 05 | 

4 mins read

coventry city cba arena scaled

One of the most famous weekends in the footballing calendar has arrived as the FA Cup Third Round gets underway.

Clubs from up and down the country will be targeting a giant-killing as they look to reach round four, and we turn our attention to the CBS Arena, where my beloved Coventry City host League One Oxford United at 12.30pm. Below we have previewed the match and selected a couple of betting picks for you to consider, as I prepare for another early cup exit. 

Coventry City vs Oxford United Betting Tips

  • Oxford to win and BTTS @ 7/1
  • Over 3.5 goals @ 7/4

Team News

Coventry will be without centre-back Liam Kitching who is serving the final match of a three-game ban having been sent off after the final whistle against Sheffield Wednesday on Boxing Day. Meanwhile, Haji Wright is unlikely to be risked for this one having been taken off with a groin issue in the 3-1 win over Middlesbrough on New Year’s Day. The rest of the squad is fully fit, but we can expect manager Mark Robins to make several changes after a busy Christmas period. 

Des Buckingham meanwhile welcomed Billy Bodin and Stanley Mills back to their matchday squad for the win over Charlton and there is a chance both of those could be thrown in from the start against Coventry. 

Match Odds

Championship outfit Coventry are 4/6 to win this match, with Oxford priced at 7/2. A draw can be backed at 13/5 while over 2.5 goals are 4/6, and BTTS is available at the same price. 

Oxford to win and BTTS @ 7/1

Now as a Coventry fan, you may think I am overcompensating here and protecting myself from the embarrassment of a cup upset. But this is a prediction based on realism rather than pessimism. This time last year I wrote a piece predicting that the Sky Blues would lose to Wrexham at home, and after the 4-3 humiliation, Ryan Reynolds kindly shared it to his 50M followers on his Instagram story. Cheers Ryan. 

This time around the Sky Blues have put together a squad with more depth, but it isn’t one that is perfect. Kyle McFadzean at 37 is likely to come back into the team, but having played the last three years of his career at the centre of a back three, he is now going to plonked in the middle of a back four. It’s likely to expose his painful lack of pace, especially with Oxford’s attacking quality. 

Elsewhere, Tasuhiro Sakamoto and Haji Wright are both likely to be rested by Mark Robins, having played large parts across a hectic Christmas period. Despite his class in the dugout, Robins has never been very successful as a cup manager. The Sky Blues have won a handful of FA Cup ties in the last five seasons, while their record in the League Cup is nothing short of appalling. 

This all points to an open encounter in which Oxford can take full advantage. The U’s are 5th in the League One and play some attractive football under Des Buckingham, so I expect them to come to the CBS Arena and flourish. 

CovvsOxfordFACup

Over 3.5 goals @ 7/4

Both teams have scored in Oxford’s last four fixtures and they have looked impressive in front of goal recently. They scored twice away at Charlton to kick the new year off with a win, and still harbour outside hopes of finishing in the top two this season. A trip out in the FA Cup will provide welcome relief for Oxford, and the likes of Cameron Brannagan, Ruben Rodrigues and Mark Harris should cause the Sky Blues issues. 

Coventry have also found their goalscoring groove since switching to a 4-2-3-1 formation, and with the likes of Kasey Palmer and Matty Godden likely to be given more minutes, they should be able to find the net themselves. However, their reshuffled back four gives me cause for concern, and as a result, I believe the early kick-off on Saturday afternoon will feature a bucketload of goals. 

CovvsOxover3.5

Check out our other Football Bettings Tips here.  

Place an In-Play bet of £10 or more (at odds of 1/2 or greater) on any FA Cup game on Saturday and get £5 in Free Bets to use on any FA Cup game on Sunday.

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