If one were to believe in omens, one would think it’s written in the stars that City will emerge triumphant at Wembley, given all the parallels between 2007-2008 and 2017-2018. However, Coventry will obviously have something to say about that. Paul Tisdale, in what is rumoured could be his final match of a reign that has seen him become the longest-serving manager in all four divisions, has some decisions to make about the side that will grace the hallowed turf, the main one being around whether the fit again Troy Brown returns to the side. That would be incredibly harsh on Jordan Storey, who has been excellent since grabbing his chance, and it may therefore be that Brown sits out again. Elsewhere it could be “as you were” given City’s performance in dismantling Lincoln in the second leg of the semi.
Given the club’s stature, for Coventry in their first season in the basement since 1959, to “only” reach the playoffs was perhaps something of a disappointment. However, this was under a backdrop of continuing off-field issues and therefore manager Mark Robins will take great credit in guiding his side to Wembley. After securing a late draw in the home leg against Notts County due to a penalty that even Robins admitted was dubious at best, the Sky Blues were rampant at Meadow Lane in running out 4-1 winners on the night. Key to their success will be Marc McNulty, whose 28 goals were central to their performance especially after tricky winger Jodi Jones was ruled out for the season before Christmas. Other players to watch include Maxime Biamou.
It was honours even in the league fixtures between the sides with both matches resulting in home wins. On Own Goal from Brown and a late strike from Devon Kelly-Evans secured the points at the Ricoh Arena, while the return finished 1-0 thanks to a long-range chip from Ryan Harley after keeper Lee Burge had gone walkabout. The league head to head is slightly in Coventry’s favour with 15 wins to City’s 12 (nine draws).
There’s been three games between the two clubs in recent years – details can be found at http://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?p=9568
The match officials will be:-
Referee: David Webb
Assistant Referees: Adrian Waters and Dean Treleaven
Fourth Official: John Brooks
David Webb has officiated four Exeter games, details of those games can be found at http://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?s=referee+david+webb