Leyton Orient v Walsall
Leyton Orient have made an impressive start to the new League Two season and have a great opportunity to extend their decent run of form against Walsall.
The O’s are top of the table and are unbeaten in their opening eight games, winning seven and drawing once. They beat Rochdale 1-0 away on Tuesday night courtesy of summer recruit George Moncur’s first-half strike. Their ability to grind out wins is a reason why they are genuine promotion contenders this term, however, despite their victory manager Richie Wellens said his team ‘needed to do better’ which suggests he will want to see a reaction this weekend. In terms of selection news, full-back Rob Hunt missed the last game with injury but his replacement Jayden Sweeney came in for him and put in a solid performance to help his side pick up another three points. It is still early days but Orient are looking a very strong team and the fact that they have only conceded four goals and have kept four clean sheets already bodes well for them ahead of their upcoming matches, starting on Saturday. They also score goals for fun and are the second top scorers in the division on 15 behind Northampton Town.
Walsall started this term well and picked up back-to-back wins against Hartlepool United and Newport County. However, they have since slumped down the league table and are winless in their last six league outings. They drew 1-1 at home to Colchester United last time out, with Thomas Knowles scoring for them in the second-half to equalise. It was another underwhelming result and the team were booed off at half-time, with boss Michael Flynn saying afterwards that was ‘rightly so’. Injuries have been hurting them at the moment with key striker Conor Wilkinson currently side-lined. His replacement is young Danny Cashman on loan from Coventry City but the 21-year-old lacks experience and hasn’t scored since his summer switch. Veteran midfielder Joss Labadie is also out of action still and Isaac Hutchinson, who has been starting in the middle of the park recently, lacks the same experience in this tough league.
Things aren’t going Walsall’s way at the moment and they are going up against an Orient side who have quality throughout their squad. The Saddlers’ confidence will be shot after recent results which means this weekend is likely to only go one way.
Stockport County v Harrogate Town
Stockport County have made a slow start to life back in the Football League and are under pressure to get a result against Harrogate Town.
The Hatters find themselves in 18th position, despite being tipped by many to compete for promotion this season. They were beaten 3-2 away at Crawley Town on Tuesday night and their boss Dave Challinor said it was a ‘frustrating’ result for his side and he will be desperate to see a response. County had 14 shots and 60% possession against the Red Devils which suggests they are having no problem in creating chances, they are just struggling to convert them. They gave the green light for striker Scott Quigley to leave on loan for Rochdale on deadline day which shows the manager’s belief in current striking options Kyle Wootton and Oli Crankshaw which should give them confidence.
Stockport have only lost once in four home games in this campaign and that was on the opening day. They have started to pick up a bit of momentum at Edgeley Park and are unbeaten in their last three outings there against Colchester United, Swindon Town and AFC Wimbledon. If they can sort out their defence, they have enough quality in attacking areas to win their next one too.
Harrogate Town have made a stuttering start to the new season and are 19th in the table, three points above the drop zone after two wins from a possible eight. They were beaten 1-0 at home by Salford City last time out and conceded in added-on time which was a real sucker-punch for them. Their manager Simon Weaver said it was ‘tough’ to take aren’t playing well at the moment having lost their last four games on the spin. Injuries are killing the Sulphurites at the moment with influential midfield pair Josh Falkingham and George Thomson out injured and Alex Pattison and still recovering. Usual defender Warren Burrell played central midfield against Salford in midweek and that isn’t his usual position and is an area that Stockport could look to target.
To make matters worse, Harrogate are seriously lacking a cutting edge at the moment and have the joint-third worst goal return in the division so far having found the net just six times. They have scored just once in their last four games and will be there for the taking if Challinor can inspire his team to put in a good performance.
Northampton Town v Rochdale
Northampton Town are on track to make another push for promotion after missing out last season and have enough quality to get past Rochdale if they turn up.
The Cobblers have won back-to-back games against Barrow and AFC Wimbledon since losing their first match of the campaign against Doncaster Rovers at the end of August. They have lost just once so far and find themselves 5th in the table, a point outside the top three. They won 2-0 away at the Dons last time out with defender Jon Guthrie scoring and then the other one coming as an own goal. Speaking after that one, boss Jon Brady said it was a ‘really professional’ and that result shows his team are capable of grinding out results which will be needed this weekend. On the injury front, Northampton are sweating over the fitness of midfielder Shaun McWilliams but won’t be desperate for him to play with other strong options in his position such as Marc Leonard and Jack Sowerby which shows their strength in depth. Brady’s men are the top scorers in the league on 16 and have the top scorer in the league in their ranks in the form of Sam Hoskins, who has bagged eight in eight outings. If he is up for it this Saturday, most signs point towards a home win.
Rochdale are struggling and haven’t won in their first eight matches. Their poor form saw Robbie Stockdale lose his job and his replacement Jim Bentley is yet to win in his opening three games in charge. They were beaten 1-0 at home by Leyton Orient last time out and missed the chance to level at the death when Scott Quigley missed a penalty. That was a huge blow for them and won’t have done their confidence any good. Bentley admitted that his side ‘lacked quality’ in the game and was missing midfielder Liam Kelly as he continues to fight back from injury. This was a blow with his replacement James Ball in the middle of the park lacking the same influence and it is yet to be known whether Kelly will be fit for this weekend.
Rochdale can’t score goals and have the second worst goal return in the division behind Gillingham having found the net just five times, three of which came in the same game. They have picked up just two points and will struggle at Sixfields again.
Salford City v Tranmere Rovers
Salford City have impressed so far this season and have a chance to carry on their momentum at home to Tranmere Rovers.
The Ammies are 4th in the League Two table after picking up five wins from their opening eight matches and are a point outside the top three. They have lost just once so far and won 1-0 away at Harrogate Town last time out thanks to Matty Lund’s last-gasp winner to pick up another victory which shows they can stay in games and have the quality to pounce at the end. Their boss Neil Wood, who left Manchester United U21s over the summer to join them, has made a positive impact so far and said his side ‘kept going’ against the Sulphurites to pick up the victory. They remain without midfielder Stevie Mallan but don’t miss him too much with goal scorer Lund, Elliot Watt, Ethan Galbraith and Ryan Watson all capable midfielders at this level. Salford will be confident ahead of their game on Saturday based on the fact that they haven’t lost in all four outings at the Peninsula Stadium so far against Mansfield Town, Crewe Alexandra, Stevenage and Crawley Town, winning three of them. They also have a tight defence and have let in only six goals this term with Ryan Leak and Theo Vassell in solid form at the back.
Tranmere have started this campaign slowly and find themselves 16th in the table which is poor for side challenging for promotion. The Whites have won just twice so far and were beaten 2-1 at home by Bradford City on Tuesday night and their boss Micky Mellon said that his side were ‘off the tempo’ in that one. They have been all season really and that is reflected by their disappointing league position. On the selection front, injuries haven’t been kind to the Whites in defence and they remain without Tom Davies, Luke Robinson and Kyle Jameson. Jordan Turnbull and Neil Byrne have stepped in over recent games but the Merseyside club have won just once in their last five outings.
To make matters worse ahead of their trip to face a buoyant Salford team, Mellon’s men haven’t won away yet this season and are having some serious troubles on the road which doesn’t bode well for them at all.
Sutton United v Hartlepool United
Sutton United take on bottom of the table Hartlepool United this weekend.
The U’s have made a steady start to the new campaign and are 12th in the league table and are only three points off the play-offs knowing a win this Saturday will push them closer. They were beaten 3-2 away at Swindon Town last time out and were denied a win at the death after the Robins scored a last minute winner. The London club will be eager to bounce back from that with a victory and their boss Matt Gray has said away from home his team are not getting the results that they ‘deserve’. The manager remains without injured full-back Sam Hart but the experienced Rob Milsom has done a steady job for him stepping in as his teammates continues to recover from injury. Sutton are playing well but can’t get results on the road. However, at home it is a different story entirely and they have made Gander Green Lane a fortress ahead of their clash against Hartlepool. They are unbeaten there so far and have won all three of their past outings against Barrow, Mansfield Town and Harrogate Town.
Hartlepool are struggling at the moment and the pressure is mounting on boss Paul Hartley already. The North East outfit are 23rd in the table and are yet to win in their first eight games, losing four and drawing four. They drew 1-1 at home to Crewe Alexandra on Tuesday night and were denied the win in the 86th minute when the Railwaymen equalised which will dent their confidence even more. Hartley said he was ‘bitterly disappointed’ with that result and things keep getting worse for him. One saving grace is the fact new signing Chris Maguire is in line to make his debut away at Sutton. However, he is 33 now and it is a big ask for someone to come into a new club having not had a club over pre-season.
Hartlepool are in dire need of a spark though as they are the joint second lowest scorers in the league and only three players have scored for this term, Josh Umerah (three), Wes McDonald (two) and David Ferguson (one) which shows their lack of quality. In addition, their defence is the leakiest in the division and Sutton’s attacker will be rubbing their hands together at the prospect of playing a backline that has let in 15 goals in eight games, which is an average of just under two per match.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
18+ please gamble responsibly.
Back the Four and Five Star Selections as an Accumulator on Betfair ⬇️
*Bet link only appears when accessing from mobile.
Haven’t got a Betfair account? You’re in luck…
Sign up to Betfair and get a full refund if your first bet loses. Grab an account through the offer below and place £20 on the 14/1 League Two Best Bets Accumulator. Here are the two possible outcomes: