TONY Mowbray will return to former club Coventry City after the two sides were paired together in the Carabao Cup first round draw.

Rovers will make the trip to the Ricoh Arena on the week commencing August 7 after this afternoon’s draw, which was held in Thailand, where the energy drink sponsor is based.

Mowbray left Coventry in September 2016, after 18 months in the hotseat, and won 26 of his 76 games in charge.  His number two at Rovers, Mark Venus, will also return to the club he left in March having stayed on the board of directors, and also served as caretaker manager at Coventry, following Mowbray’ departure.

Rovers were the first ball drawn out of the northern section of the first round draw, which was regionalised, and paired with the Sky Blues who were relegated from League One last season.

They faced two League Two sides in last year's competition, which went without a sponsor, as they beat Mansfield Town 3-1 in round one, before edging past Crewe Alexandra 4-3 after extra-time in round two.  Their progress was ended in round three by Leeds United.

Rovers and Coventry haven't met since February 2009, an FA Cup fifth round replay which was decided by a solitary Leon Best goal.

They met in seven consecutive Premier League seasons between 1992/93 and 1998/99, and their last meeting in the league cup came in October 1994 where an Alan Shearer brace saw Rovers progress at Ewood Park.

Reacting to the draw, Coventry boss Mark Robins told his club's official website: “Obviously there is excitement because it’s the first fixture that we get to know about.

“There is an added spice about the tie in as much that we will be up against our former Manager, Tony Mowbray and Technical Director, Mark Venus which could capture the imagination of our supporters.

“It’s a game I am looking forward to and a competition we want to progress in.”

Meanwhile, Accrington Stanley will host a Lancashire derby with Preston North End at the Wham Stadium.

John Coleman's side are also due to host North End in a pre-season friendly this summer.

The Reds enjoyed a giant-killing last season when they defeated Premier League neighbours Burnley in the second round thanks to Matty Pearson's last minute extra time winner.

Stanley also knocked out Bradford before losing 1-0 to West Ham in round three.