The stage is set
for a massive impact by the Moroccans Mustapha Hadji and Youssef Chippo in Coventrys
match against West Bromwich Albion at Highfield Road on Saturday.
Hadji, the clubs record signing at £4 million from Deportivo de la Coruña, is
expected to play his first full game and a big crowd is expected at Highfield Road for the
The midfielder, rated the best player on view in the early matches of the World Cup
Finals in France, played the second half of last nights 1-0 victory at Aberdeen,
while Chippo played the whole game.
It was remarkable that Hadji played at all after flying hundreds of air miles in the
space of a week.
He flew into England from Spain for his medical and to complete his signing and then
flew back to tidy up his domestic affairs. He flew back into England on Saturday morning
in time to watch the friendly match at Birmingham City only to be called out to Morocco to
attend the funeral of King Hassan.
He was accompanied by Chippo and they jetted back on Monday evening, but still had the
energy to set up their own impromptu training session at the Sky Blue Lodge before
retiring to their hotel.
They were up early yesterday for the flight to Aberdeen, flying back to Coventry today.
But after three days training and no more flights they should be ready to take their
places for the whole match against the Albion, which will also be a testimonial game for
Cyrille Regis, who did great service for both clubs.
Manager Gordon Strachan played Darren Huckerby and Noel Whelan in harness at Aberdeen
and Whelan scored the only goal of the match in the 10th minute. But the manager said that
was no guide to Saturdays formation.
"We have been trying to give players playing time and you will find that John
Aloisi will be playing against the Albion."