Sky Blues versus Blades: Cases to be made
Coventry City play their first match of the season at the Ricoh Arena on Tuesday night and come up against a side who were within a whisker of winning promotion last year and who are the bookmakers` favourites to do so this time around.
"We are here to be shot at again. Perhaps this season, we might be the only team to be shot at," was Sheffield United manager Danny Wilson`s verdict ahead of the new campaign after seeing his side pipped at the post by city neighbours Wednesday before their play-off defeat against Huddersfield.
"There aren`t the clubs that have been in this division in the past. From our perspective, we will be there as the big scalp to claim.
"We won`t find it any easier. People may look at it and think the division is not quite as strong. But, to me, it is as strong as last year."
Both sides will be looking to convince sceptical supporters that they are genuine contenders for promotion. Both sets of fans have become accustomed to failure over the past decade or so, albeit different kinds of failure.
Whereas the Sky Blues have been terrible full stop, for the Blades it has been a case of so near and yet so far on so many occasions, mostly in play-off matches that have made the Millenium Stadium and Wembley akin to swear words for those in the red and white.
United, who opened the season with a narrow win over Shrewsbury at the weekend, performed solidly on the road last season, winning 11 and drawing 5 of their 23 matches.