Gordon Strachan, manager
of struggling Coventry has a game plan for the match against Arsenal at Highbury, but he
does not know whether he has the bodies to carry it through.
Coventry could be without five players against the champions, either through injuries
Strachan is definitely without two strikers Noel Whelan and John Aloisi through
suspensions, and he is waiting news on Gary McAllister, George Boateng and Paul Williams
who are injured.
"We know what we want to do, but we dont know whether we will have the
bodies to do it."
He is no doubt about the size of the task facing his relegation-threatened side.
"Arsenal are big and powerful, they have got pace and ability and they have still
got that defence which gives away nothing. Everything you need in a football team they
Strachan was keeping his battle plan close to his chest, but he could start with the
4-5-1 formation which did so well at Chelsea. That would have Darren Huckerby on his own
"I knew what I wanted to do last Sunday," said Coventrys boss.
"But these things can change depending on who is available. I dont want to give
too much away.
"We have to make Arsenal put the ball in areas where they do not want it to go. We
have to try to take the game to them. If you sit back and hope for a draw you are inviting
For the Coventry players it will be a welcome change to play on a flat football pitch.
"Our pitch is not good. It cuts up and is very heavy. Before our last game against
Blackburn Rovers we watched Evertons match on television and it looked as though
they were playing in a another country. On our pitch it takes two or three touches to get
the ball under control."
Coventrys pitch is blamed for Boatengs muscle strain at the top of his
thigh, and McAllisters badly sprained an ankle. McAllister expects to be fit to join
up with the Scotland squad for next weeks match against Bosnia, even if he does not
make it against Arsenal.
Paul Williams is said to have no chance of playing at Highbury after missing the match
against Blackburn with a hamstring strain.
Coventry have won only once in the premiership at Highbury, when they did the league
double in 1993-94.