Match Preview: Leyton Orient v MK Dons – npower League One

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After last week’s defeat, the O’s have little left to play for in the last three matches of the season. MK Dons on the 0ther hand are hoping their improved form will earn them a playoff place. Here we preview Saturday’s match:

 

 

 

Leyton Orient

Last Saturday, a poor start to the match against Colchester ended Orient’s slim hopes of sneaking in to the playoff places. The O’s had to field a makeshift defence and the home side took full advantage as the visitors struggled to settle. Gavin Massey nodded the U’s in front after 20 minutes and they doubled their lead through Drey Wright just four minutes later. Former Colchester man Kevin Lisbie pulled a goal back for the O’s shortly before the break, but Sam Walker saved his penalty in the second half.

Following that defeat, Russell Slade admitted that a playoff place is now out of his team’s reach, but he has insisted that there is still something to play for this season. The O’s are now four points adrift from sixth placed Swindon and they have played a game more than the Robins.

Despite the defeat last time out. Orient have one of the best home records on League One. The O’s have won 57% of their matches at Brisbane Road and they have conceded an average of just 0.90 goals per game (the second best record in the league). They also have the second best home form over the last six games as they have won their last four matches in E10.

This week Jack Sherratt was announced as the winner of the Samsung Win A Pro Contract competition. He will be introduced to the fans at half time against MK Dons.

Team News

Russell Slade’s options are severely limited at the moment due to injuries and the problem was exacerbated this week when Millwall recalled Shaun Batt.

Lee Cook, David Mooney, Elliot Omozusi, Mathieu Baudry and Scott Cuthbert all missed the trip to Colchester last weekend and Slade has said that only Cook is likely to return before the end of the season.

Vincelot partnered Clarke in the centre of defence against Colchester, but Gary Sawyer could be called upon to cover at centre back if Vincelot is moved to his more natural midfield berth.

Orient could only name five substitutes on Saturday and that included Afolabi Obafemi, Harry Lee and De’Reece Vanderhyde, all of whom have little if any first team experience.

Given the fact that Orient’s playoff hopes are effectively over and the squad is depleted through injury, it seems as if Russell Slade has a prime opportunity to give some of his youth prospects a taste of first team football over the last three games. Moses Odubajo started the last game of the season last term and this season he has made astounding progress, establishing himself as a first team regular. With very little to play for, it would be good to see some  young players be given the chance to make the step up.

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Ex Dons

Charlie MacDonald signed for Leyton Orient from MK Dons in January. MacDonald scored 13 goals in 65 appearances after joining the Dons in August 2011.

 

MK Dons

Top scorer: Dean Bowditch 12 League One: 9th FA Cup: 5th round League Cup: 3rd round Cards: 66 Yellow 8 Red.

MK Dons moved above Leyton Orient on goal difference after claiming a two nil win over promotion hopefuls Swindon Town on Tuesday night. The Robins had a goal ruled out in the first half,  and  after that let off, MK Dons improved after the break. Mathias Doumbe put the home side in front just before the hour mark and Ryan Lowe sealed the win with a goal in the 89th minute.

The Dons will have good travelling support behind them at Brisbane Road with over 500 away fans expected to make the trip.

MK Dons are certainly hitting form as they gear up for a late push for a playoff place. They have won four of their last six matches, which is the second best form in League One (along with Brentford). However, they have not found it easy to pick up wins away from stadium mk. They have won 25% of their away games this season and they have drawn four of their last six matches on the road.

Team News

MK Dons boss Karl Robinson has stated that there are a couple of niggling injuries within his squad ahead of the trip to

East London and as a result he looks set to make a couple of changes.

Stephen Gleeson will not be available for selection as he was forced off against Swindon in midweek after he took a knock to his ankle. Chris Lines is likely to replace him again.

David Martin is another absentee as the goalkeeper is still struggling with the back injury that has kept him out of action for the last six weeks.

However the Dons welcomed the club captain Dean Lewington back into the starting lineup last time out and he is expected to retain his place in the first eleven. He had been out of action for three weeks with knee ligament damage.

Ex O’s

Left back Adam Chicksen spent a month on loan with the O’s in January 2012, making 3 appearances.

 

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Leyton Orient have a poor record against MK Dons, having lost six of the nine meetings between the two sides. The Dons have won each of the last three matches against the O’s.

When they met earlier in the season, Ryan Lowe scored the only goal of the game to secure all three points for Karl Robinson’s men. The O’s had a late goal ruled out and Russell Slade was sent to the stands by referee Robert Lewis.

MK Dons comprehensively defeated the O’s at Brisbane Road on Boxing Day last season. Dean Bowditch opened the scoring for the away side on 37 minutes and that was followed by a fantastic long range strike from Tottenham loanee Adam Smith after the break. Charlie MacDonald then added a third goal six minutes later.

The O’s have never claimed a home win over MK Dons. The closest they came was in January 2011 as they played out a 2-2 draw at Brisbane Road. Stephen Gleeson gave the visitors the lead after just seven minutes, but his goal was cancelled out by Scott McGleish two minutes later. Terrell Forbes then gave the home side the advantage on 14 minutes and they held the lead until just after the break. Ten minutes after the restart, Sean O’Hanlon put the Dons back on level terms to earn his side a point.

Orient’s last win occurred in the same season and it was a similarly high scoring affair. Again the MK Dons opened the scoring early on, this time courtesy of Dean Lewington. Ten minutes later, Jimmy Smith notched to draw the visitors level. Mid-way through the first half ex-Orient striker Jabo Ibehre added a second goal for the hosts, but just before the interval Smith was once again on hand to restore parity. The second half failed to match the action of the first, but Jonathan Tehoue came off the bench with twenty minutes remaining and five minutes later he scored the winning goal for the O’s.

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