Leyton Orient will have another new manager in the dugout against Peterborough on Saturday as Fabio Liverani takes charge for the first time. He will be hoping to claim a win over out-of-form Peterborough in a bid to move the O’s away from the drop zone. Here we preview Saturday’s game:
[textmarker color=”DB0404″ type=”background color”]Leyton Orient[/textmarker]
Last time out, Leyton Orient lost to Gillingham by a goal to nil in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Southern Semi-Final.
The first half lacked quality as both sides only really threatened from set-pieces. Leon Legge missed the target with a header from a corner, while at the other end Shane Lowry went close with a couple of free-kicks. Just before the interval, Gianvito Plasmati forced Stuart Nelson into making a good save, as the Italian striker headed towards goal from Jobi McAnuff’s free-kick.
After the break, Gary Sawyer continued to deliver some good crosses from the left, one of which should have been buried by Bradley Pritchard at the far post. Orient were again punished from a set-play just as they had been the last time they played at the Priestfield. John Egan headed home from Michael Doughty’s corner to put the hosts in front.
Orient pushed for the equaliser but they continued to lack quality in front of goal. Their best chance came when Shaun Batt delivered a tempting cross, but no one managed to get on the end of it. The O’s had failed to find their cutting edge in front of goal and as a result they exited the competition.
New manager Fabio Liverani won’t have the luxury of a fully fit squad to choose from when he makes his first team selection.
The O’s look set to be short of attacking options again. Jay Simpson has been missing in recent weeks due to a hamstring injury and Saturday’s game is likely to come too soon for him. Chris Dagnall is unavailable for selection again as he continues to serve his suspension following his dismissal against Bradford. Kevin Lisbie (shoulder) and Darius Henderson (foot) are also still on the sidelines.
Lloyd James is continuing to work towards a return from his leg break, while Marvin Bartley is also an injury doubt for the match against the Posh.
Andrea Dossena is expected to be out of action for another couple of weeks with his hamstring injury, therefore Gary Sawyer is likely to continue at left back. Gary Woods remains an injury concern.
Last Saturday, Shane Lowry returned from the calf injury that had kept him out of action since mid-November. Nathan Clarke was rested against the Gills but he is expected to be in contention for this week’s game. Therefore the new manager will have a decision to make concerning the central defensive pairing. Romain Vincelot also returned to the starting lineup last weekend after completing his suspension.
Dean Cox’s involvement in the JPT tie at the Priestfield was limited to a substitute appearance due to an ankle problem. He could well be fit enough to start this time around.
Liverani used a 3-5-2 system as well as a 4-3-3/4-3-1-2 during his time as manager of Genoa. However, given the limited numbers available to him as well the short amount of time he has had to work with his new team, it seems likely that Liverani won’t stray too far away from what Mauro Milanese had been working on.
Shaun Batt was part of the Peterborough side that won promotion to the Championship in the 2008/09 season. During that campaign, he made 36 appearances for the Posh, scoring 2 goals. In the season-and-a-half that he spent at London Road he scored 4 goals in 61 appearances (42 of which were as a substitute). In January 2010 Batt signed for Millwall on loan and in June 2010 the move was made permanent.
[textmarker color=”133CC2″ type=”background color”]Peterborough United[/textmarker]
Top scorer: Britt Assombalonga 33 League One: 6th FA Cup: 3rd round League Cup: 3rd round Cards: 82 Yellow 0 Red
Last term, Peterborough failed to return to the Championship at the first time of asking, suffering defeat against the O’s in the play-off semi-finals. After a strong start to the season that saw the Posh win ten of their first 12 league games, Darren Ferguson’s side faded and by the turn of the year they were in six place, a position they occupied until the end of the season.
Britt Assomballonga was the second highest scorer in League One last term with 23 goals, but the Posh were not strong enough defensively to challenge for automatic promotion. Their away form was also somewhat lacking, they had the 8th best record on the road.
The Posh defeated Brentford, Dagenham & Redbridge, Newport County and Swindon over two legs to make it to the JPT final. They then beat Chesterfield 3-1 at Wembley, to lift the Football League Trophy for the first time in their history.
[tabs title1=”IN” text1=”Jon Taylor (Shrewsbury Town, Undisclosed), Erhun Oztumer (Dulwich Hamlet, Undisclosed), Michael Smith (Bristol Rovers, Undisclosed), Marcus Maddison (Gateshead, Undisclosed), Gabriel Zakuani (Kalloni FC), Ben Alnwick (Leyton Orient), Christian Burgess (Middlesbrough, Loan), Kenny McEvoy (Tottenham Hotspur, Loan), Luke James (Hartlepool, Undisclosed), Aaron McLean (Bradford City, Loan), Harry Beautyman (Welling United, Loan), Craig Mackail-Smith (Brighton, Loan)” tabs title2=”OUT” text2=”Britt Assombalonga (Nottingham Forest, Undisclosed), Nicky Ajose (Leeds United, Undisclosed), Nathaniel Knight-Percival (Shrewsbury Town), Tommy Rowe (Wolves), Mark Little (Bristol City), Alex Lynch (Wycombe Wanderers), Danny Swanson (Coventry City), Craig Alcock (Sheffield United), Daniel Kearns (Carlisle United), Bobby Olejnik (Scunthorpe, Loan), Nat Knight-Percival, Craig Alcock, Peter Grant, Tyrone Barnett (Oxford United, Loan), Shaun Brisley (Scunthorpe United, Loan), Kane Ferdinand (Cheltenham Town, Loan)” ]
Top scorer: Conor Washington 6 League One: 1st FA Cup: 2nd Round League Cup: 1st round
When Orient made the trip to London Road at the start of September Peterborough were the league leaders, however a slump in form has seen them slip down to ninth place in League One. Darren Ferguson is under pressure as his side are now without a win in their last six league games, five of which have been defeats, meaning they currently have the worst form in the third tier. They are also without a win in their last four games on the road in all competitions.
They suffered a 3-0 defeat to high-flying Bristol City in their last league match.
Last Sunday Peterborough were knocked out of the FA Cup in the second round by Colchester United. The Posh had an opportunity to take the lead late on after Sanchez Watt brought Michael Bostwick down in the penalty area. However, U’s stopper Sam Walker saved Aaron McLean’s penalty. The Posh then went close again as Christian Burgess hit the crossbar with a header from the resulting corner. Having kept Peterborough out, Colchester broke forward and George Moncur slotted the ball into the bottom corner to win the game for the U’s in injury time.
Alnwick, Bostwick, Zakuani (Vassell 93′), Ntlhe, Burgess, Payne (James 93′), Anderson, Newell, Oztumer, Washington, McLean
Smith, James, Vassell, Mendez-Laing, Santos, Henry, Da Silva Lopes
Marcus Maddison played no part in the FA Cup defeat last weekend due to an ankle problem, however he is set to be available to face the O’s on Saturday. He has missed some training sessions due to illness which could mean he has to settle for a place on the bench.
Loan duo Harry Beautyman and Craig Mackail-Smith were not eligible to feature for the Posh in the FA Cup against Colchester, therefore both players will be well rested ahead of the trip to Brisbane Road and will be hoping to make the starting XI.
Jack Baldwin is a long-term absentee after rupturing his knee ligaments at the start of last month. He is joined on the sidelines by Jon Taylor.
Ben Alnwick had a loan spell with the O’s in September 2011, making 8 appearances before returning to Tottenham. Alnwick returned to Orient in January 2014, but he managed just one appearance before being signed off for medical reasons and he eventually left the club in March.
Gabriel Zakuani came through the youth ranks at Orient before making his first team debut in March 2003 against Bournemouth at the age of 16. His first senior goal for the club came in the following season in the 2-1 defeat at Kidderminster. 2004/05 was a breakthrough season for the young centre back as he made 36 appearances. He made another 50 appearances in the 2005/06 promotion season, taking his total to 98 games for the club. In July 2006 Fulham paid £1m to take him to Craven Cottage.
Aaron McLean was also a product of the Orient youth system but his development was hindered by injury. He made 45 appearances and scored 3 goals for the O’s from August 1999 until March 2003 when he was released. McLean joined Peterborough on loan from Bradford City in November.
Harry Beautyman also began his career with the O’s. He signed a pro-contract in 2010 but was loaned out to St Albans and Hastings. He was then released in May 2011 without having made a senior appearance in an Orient shirt. He joined Sutton United and later he moved to Welling United. Beautyman recently joined Peterborough on loan with a view to a permanent move when the transfer window re-opens next month.
Leyton Orient have already beaten Peterborough this season, defeating the Posh to reach the second round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. Chris Dagnall gave the O’s the advantage early on, heading in a Lloyd James free-kick. However, Orient found themselves back on level terms before the break as Marcus Maddison fired a low shot into Gary Woods’s net. Two minutes into the second half Dagnall scored his and Orient’s second of the night. Just after the hour Bradley Pritchard added a third from Dagnall’s low cross. The O’s were then reduced to ten men when Romain Vincelot picked up a second yellow card. Luke James’s goal in injury time set up a tense finish, but Orient were able to hold on to their lead.
The O’s and the Posh played each other on four occasions last season, with Orient winning twice and losing just once.
When the two sides met in November last season, Orient travelled to third placed Peterborough as league leaders. Tommy Rowe gave the home side the lead on 26 minutes, but Orient came from behind to record a convincing win. Six minutes before the interval David Mooney equalised, sending the ball high into the net with a strike on the turn. Four minutes after half-time Dean Cox doubled Orient’s tally by lifting the ball over an onrushing Bobby Olejnik. Mooney then sealed the victory just before the hour mark as he found the bottom corner of the net with a low strike.
Peterborough returned the favour by winning at Brisbane Road in February. David Mooney scored the opening goal with 70 minutes gone, however the Posh grabbed two late goals courtesy of Britt Assombalonga and Tommy Rowe to snatch all three points.
They then met again in the League One play-offs. In the first leg at London Road the hosts took the lead after 16 minutes through Britt Assombalonga , but Moses Odubajo put the O’s back on level terms in the second half, leaving the tie neatly poised.
It was a night to remember for Orient at Brisbane Road in the second leg. Dean Cox gave the O’s the advantage on the hour and Chris Dagnall doubled their lead with two minutes remaining. Conor Washington pulled a goal back in injury time but the O’s managed to hold on and book their place in the final with a 3-2 win on aggregate.
[textmarker color=”000000″ type=”background color”]Match Officials[/textmarker]
Referee: Kevin Johnson
Assistants: William Bull and Joe Clark
Fourth Official: Jake Hillier
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