With 4 games left to go, 2 points out of the last 9 available is not what you call survival form as Orient sit above the relegation zone on goal difference. A trip to MK Dons is far from what fans may think is a winnable game with the Dons unbeaten in their last 7 and closing in on Preston. Dependent on North End’s result tonight at Port Vale, the Dons with a win could move to second in the table and with a strong possibility of securing the second automatic spot.
All of these factors seem to be against the O’s who lost their 19th match of the season on Tuesday after another set piece which settles a match. How many more will their be this season?
Karl Robinson spoke pre match and talked about a game plan which his side is looking to implement during the game. My betting is it will be press Orient high as the O’s are not always the most comfortable in possession. With the Dons playing 4-2-3-1, based on the last couple of games, Orient will be overrun in midfield once again. A game changer with the Dons the second highest scorers in the league, they have the ability to cut Orient open.
Orient record this season:
With this, it is clear to see why Orient are in the predicament that they are. Poor home form with only 5 wins all season, it took till November to get their first win: 4-1 over Crewe. In fact when the O’s have recorded wins at Brisbane Road – they have always scored 3 goals. When Orient take their chances they pick up points- easy to point that out yes. But more concerning is the amount of miss chances we have had in recent weeks. Any fan that went to Crewe last weekend or was at Brisbane Road on Tuesday can illustrate this point.
Orient can score goals but in games where they need to break the deadlock or have fallen behind they have struggled. In fact Orient are the top scorers with 55 out of the bottom 1 clubs with Scunthorpe scoring the same. Alongside their scoring record only Notts County out of the bottom 8 have conceded less putting Orient in a strong position for goal difference.
However the major problem has been the nature of the goals conceded in matches this season. All Orient fans know how easy it can be to score against Orient both home and away. With Orient playing the second highest scorers tomorrow, the O’s will need to be on their guard otherwise they could be on the end of hammering with the Dons full of confidence.
Below is how goals were scored and conceded:
* Penalty at Notts County came after Clarke fouled from free kick
- Orient scored 8 of their first 19 league goals from set pieces (2 penalties) but haven’t scored from a set piece not including a penalty
- Orient didn’t concede a goal from a set piece excluding penalty at Notts County in first 13 games but since conceded 14 in 29 matches.
- 14 of last 44 goals been from a set piece (31%) not including penalties (3)
Another major problem alongside set pieces has been the inability to defend crosses into their own box. Orient have conceded 27 of their 56 goals (48%) through crosses going into the box (pen at Notts C including).
Obviously scoring the first goal remains pivotal to the end result of the match, Orient’s records below when scoring and conceding the first goal:
Lastly Orient have had this season problems conceding goals in certain time periods of matches. Goals in the remaining minutes have cost Orient points in certain games as Sheffield United despite grabbing an injury time equalizer. Record are below:
- 48% Goals conceded from crosses into the box (27 out of 56) – 3 penalties
- 30% Goals conceded from set pieces – 4 penalties
- Only 12 points collected when conceded first goal – W3, D3, L17
- 65% Orient’s Goals scored by strikers
All these statistics help to see why Orient are where they are? But main question is will they manage to escape relegation, we will find out on May 3rd.