Leyton Orient skipper Nathan Clarke is determined to beat the drop but insist that they are taking every game as it comes. The O’s climbed off the bottom of League 1 with a 3-2 win away at Chesterfield on Saturday. David Mooney twice pulled Orient level before Dean Cox volleyed home a 101st minute winner to seal Orient’s first win in 6. Prior to the win Orient had lost 4 of their previous 5 but with two home games this week; everyone at the club knows how important these games are.
Reports arose last week concerning a crisis within the club with many employees wanted out after Francesco Becchetti takeover in the summer. Clarke spoke after the Chesterfield match and was shocked by the stories that broke, “we are desperate to put it right”. Rumors have circulated the media about the wage structure within the club, Clarke added “there is always a difference in wages, we have not done well this season; it is not down to one person”. Cox announced that the players had spoke about how their season needs to start now, the result was massive with “some character of last season coming back”.
Bradford come to E10 on the back of another Premier League triumph after beating Sunderland 2-0 in fifth round of F.A. Cup setting up a quarter final with Reading. Tomorrow night’s clash was rearranged from 3rd January after the Bantams progression in the cup competition and a win will seem them jump into the top six depending on tonight’s results. Phil Parkinson’s men have travelled well this season, picking up 22/41 on the road including 6 wins. Their only defeat in 8 on the road was a 1-0 defeat away at Yeovil while knocking Chelsea out of the cup with a 4-2 win at the Bridge.
Similarly as Orient, they have collected more points away than at home but they have only lost 2 in 9 in all competitions to Rochdale and Yeovil. Orient have struggled all season with only 9 points recorded at home while 20 away from home. But a glimmer of hope for the O’s is after the Bantams last three cup matches they have only 1 point from a possible 9.
Although Bradford sit ninth on 41 points, only 10 points separate Sheffield in fifth (45) and Barnsley in nineteenth. The Bantams have only scored 37 goals in 28 matches which is 1 less than tomorrow’s opponents. One problem could be that their top scorer, James Hansen only has 7 goals in the league; if they want to challenge for the play offs, Jon Stead may need to replicate his F.A. cup form where he has scored in every round.
Orient’s win at Chesterfield is their first win in 14 after conceding the opening goal in matches. Bradford have a similar record winning 1 in 10 after conceding first, with the win coming in their last home match 2-1 against MK Dons. Bradford pick up 80% of their points when they score first (33/41) with their record: Winning 10, Drawing 3 and Losing 3. All 6 of their away wins have occurred when they have notched the first goal with them scoring first in 8 of their 13 away games. 19 of their 22 away points have been achieved with them scoring first.
Bradford have played 8 games against the bottom 6 clubs winning 3, drawing 2 and losing 3 but they have only 1 point from 6 in last two games. Jordan Pickford could return after missing their win against Sunderland while Andy Halliday is pushing for a start. Bill Clarke looks set to continue with Phil Parkinson looking to name a strong team to get a result from their game in hand. Fabio Liverani will be without Lloyd James, Adam Legizins, Darius Henderson and Gianvito Plasmati who all still remain sidelined. John Lundstram coudl feature with his loan deal set to expire after tomorrow’s clash but Liverani looks set to name an unchanged line up. David Mooney looks set to continue with 3 league goals in his last 5 starts as he joined Chris Dagnall on 7 league goals.
The O’s have failed to win in their last 3 encounters with Bradford with 1 draw and 2 defeats with a 1-1 draw at Coral Windows stadium while losing 1-0 at home last season. Bradford won 3-1 earlier in the season with Mooney striking for the O’s before Billy Clarke and Jon Stead sealed the win after Chris Dagnall had been sent off. Orient seemed to have found their formation with Cox hinting after the match on how comfortable they looked and the opportunities they created.
Orient will need to start the game well with Bradford being buoyant after their win on Sunday. Orient to edge the game 2-1 with Mooney notching the winner in the second half. Prediction: Leyton Orient 2-1 Bradford City.