After an eighth defeat in 11 games against Notts County on Tuesday, Fabio Liverani is quickly running out of games to save Leyton Orient from what seems an inevitable relegation. The O’s lost their ninth home game of the season to a Balint Bajner first half strike and travel to 7th placed Chesterfield on Saturday looking to start on the road to League 1 safety. The Spireites beat the O’s on the opening day of the season 2-1 with the home fans unaware of the turmoil that would surround their club in the coming months.
Chesterfield come off the back of a 2-0 home defeat to Preston on Tuesday but only sit outside the play off places on goal difference to Sheffield United but have played two more games than the Blades. Chesterfield, who are looking for back to back promotions after getting promoted from League Two as champions last season suffered a blow on deadline day losing Eoin Doyle to Cardiff. Reports suggest that Cardiff paid around a £1 million for the 26 year old forward who was in his most prolific spell of his career. Doyle has 21 league goals to his name, exactly 50% of Chesterfield’s total League 1 goals. A major blow for the Spireites who’s next top scorer is Sam Clucas on 5 goals.
Leyton Orient will happier to play away from home as 17 of their 26 league points have come away from Brisbane Road where they have suffered inconsistencies from match day 1. Worryingly for the East London side is their form in their last 10 league matches picking up just 7 points from a possible 30 which has seen them prop up the division and 6 points adrift from Coventry in 20th. Orient don’t have a great record against the top 7, winning only 1 of the 8 games played, 3-1 away at Oldham. Record: P8 Won 1, Drew 4, Lost 3. Orient’s last triumphed away 3-0 at Yeovil just after Christmas with this being their only win in 9 on the road in all competitions, losing 7 of them which does not bode well.
The first goal will be crucial on Saturday as it is in every match but even more when looking at records when scored and conceded first goal in a game.
Chestefield have won 10 of their 11 games when scored first – 31 of their 42 points come when they have scored first goal.
Orient have won only 1 of 15 games when conceded first – Won 1, Drew 2, Lost 13. The win came in August away at Oldham.
O’s boss,Liverani, stated that his side “must start again” after defeat on Tuesday but having lost 6 of the 9 games he has been in charge, he does not fill O’s fans with confidence especially with his team selection and tactics in recent weeks. The decision to start without Dean Cox or Ryan Hedges and bringing on Shaun Batt for Chris Dagnall which was received by boos for home fans. Dagnall who is top scorer for the O’s with 7 league goals has netted 4 of the last 10 that his side have scored but compare that to the departed Eoin Doyle who netted 7 in his first 8 matches, Dagnall’s strike rate will not be enough to keep Orient up.
Chesterfield have picked up 25 of their 42 points at home with 7 wins at the B2Net stadium and like to score the majority of their goals in the second half (24/42) which could be a problem for Orient. The O’s have struggled in the second half of matches conceding 27 of their 44 in the second half which could be pivotal to the result of the upcoming clash. Chesterfield have only lost 1 of their 7 games played against the bottom 6, winning 3 and drawing 3 and will be looking for Cadan Lavery and Mani Dieseruvwe to fill the goal void left by Doye after recently signing from Sheffield Wednesday.
Prediction: Chesterfield will be looking to bounce back from defeat to Preston and jump into the play off places while Orient will be hoping for an upturn in fortune so a score draw in the offering: Chestefield 1-1 Orient