Leyton Orient v Stevenage
Table toppers Leyton Orient will fancy their chances of beating 2nd place Stevenage as they wait until 27th December to return to the action.
The O’s sit seven points above Steve Evans’ side and have been the best team in League Two this season by a country mile. They beat Sutton United 2-0 last time out courtesy of attacker Paul Smyth’s impressive strike and an own goal by Alistair Smith to extend their lead at the summit. Speaking ahead of their next game, popular boss Richie Wellens has said his side will ‘keep working’ as they hunt down promotion to League One. In terms of selection news, the O’s have a clean bill of health but have let forward Dan Nkrumah and winger Anthony Georgiou leave on loan this month to Welling United and Yeovil Town to get some game time this winter. Leyton Orient have won 16 out of their opening 21 games this term and are a winning machine under Wellens, who knows what it takes to get out of the fourth tier having guided Swindon Town up a few years ago. They have lost only twice so far in this campaign and have the best defensive record in the division to date having only let in 12 goals. At the other end of the pitch, they are also the second most prolific scorers on 35 with only Northampton Town managing to find the net more which proves what a strong outfit they are.
Stevenage have surprised many but this may be a step too far for the Hertfordshire club. They saw their trip to AFC Wimbledon postponed last weekend due to a frozen pitch, whereas Orient played, so that may pose as a disadvantage for the visitors going into such a crucial game at the top of the table. Boro drew 0-0 at home to Mansfield Town in their last league outing and were then thrashed 3-0 away at Portsmouth last time out in the Papa John’s Trophy so haven’t scored in their last 180+ minutes which is a worry. Evans has since revealed that his players have held their ‘own meeting’ to assess their past two performances. They could only name five subs at Fratton Park on 13th December as a virus ruled out a number of their squad but they should be available again now.
Stevenage are the lowest scorers out of the top three teams and recent events at the club mean they will be in for a very difficult game at Brisbane Road next Tuesday. There is no doubt that they are a decent side under Evans but they are just coming up against a team that are stronger and have a better knack for winning.
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