League Two Playoff Final: Coventry vs Exeter – Lineups, Preview and Prediction
Coventry City are trying to earn their first promotion since 1967 as they face Exeter who were relegated from League One in 2012.
15:00, Monday 28th May, Wembley (London), Sky Sports Football
Paul Tisdale has been manager of Exeter City since 2006 and in that time he has turned them into a very strong league club.
This weekend represents a huge opportunity for him and his team to take themselves to the next level as they face off against Coventry City in the playoff final.
For the Sky Blues, promotion is a must. The club has struggled since being relegated from the Premier League in 2001 and this represents an opportunity for them to halt their long-drawn-out decline.
They are likely to be backed by at least 35,000 fans while Exeter will have a following of roughly 10,500 which is very impressive for a club of their size.
So while the game may feel like a Coventry home match that does not guarantee victory and Exeter will hope to be the party poopers on Monday afternoon.
Last time out
Notts County 1-4 Coventry
Coventry were relentless in the second leg of their playoff semi-final but had some questionable refereeing decisions to thank for their progress.
In the first leg a soft penalty was awarded to them late in the match and in the second leg, Notts County’s Jonathan Forte had a perfectly good goal chalked off for an offside that never was.
Maxime Biamou was the hero though on this night, he stunning bicycle kick set Coventry on their way early on and he added the crucial third goal that put the game out of sight for County.
Mark Robins and his men played the perfect away performance that got the job done.
Exeter 3-1 Lincoln
Two absolute screamers and a Jayden Stockley strike sealed Exeter’s place in the playoff final, though the game was not without controversy.
Stockley put the U’s ahead on 27 minutes with a fine volley from close range. However, the away side were rueing a refereeing decision as they scored, but it was disallowed for handball when it seemed that Matt Rhead was fouled.
Either way, the homeside deserved the victory on the night and can thank some splendid finishing.
Coventry have no new injury concerns heading into today’s game.
Exeter could name the same side which played in the semi final.
Key battle – Jack Grimmer vs Jayden Stockley
Grimmer is arguably playing well below his actual level at Coventry and he will be vital to their hopes of winning. He was recently voted into the PFA League Two team of the year and he will no doubt carry that form into this final.
But, Exeter have top scorer Jayden Stockley who has scored 25 goals this season, including the opener in Exeter’s last game.
While this is not a direct battle, if one of these players plays to their full potential then they are going to give their team a far better chance of winning.
Can Coventry finally get promoted?
Not since 1967 have Coventry tasted the sweetness of promotion – largely due to their 34 consecutive seasons in the top flight.
But they can now finally taste that success if they can win on Monday. The pressure will be on, though, as they could be backed by up to 40,000 people, but if any club has deserved success in recent years then it is Coventry.
Paul Tisdale’s final game?
The manager has been part of the furniture at Exeter since 2006, but rumours have been floating around that he could leave this summer.
This season he has questioned his future and it will be interesting to see what happens after this weekends game.
Either way, if Monday is his final hurrah as manager, he will leave as a legend of the football club.
Prediction – Coventry 2-1 Exeter
This game could really go either way, but I give the edge to Coventry simply because they have that large vocal backing behind them.
So far both sides have had their fair share of luck in the playoffs, but it seems that the stars have aligned for Coventry in both of their games so far.
Really, it is a flip of a coin. But I just fancy Coventry to nick it.
Will Paul Tisdale stay at Exeter? Let us know below.