Leyton Orient will be desperate to finally secure a league win after a long spell of poor league form. However, they face a high-flying Wrexham side that have been in great form of late. Here we preview Saturday’s game:
National League: 13th FA Cup: 4th Qual Round FA Trophy: 1st Round Top scorer: John Rooney 11
Last term, Wrexham finished in 13th place in the National League. They were one of four sides who accumulated 58 points but their goal difference of -14 prevented them from finishing a couple of places higher.
Gary Mills was dismissed as Wrexham box in mid-October 2015 with the side in 15th place. Dean Keates took over at the Racecourse Ground after a spell as caretaker boss, but he only managed a slight improvement in terms of league places.
Shaun Pearson (Grimsby Town), Jack Mackreth (Bury), Callum Preston (Stevenage), Marcus Kelly (Forest Green Rovers), Christian Dibble (Nuneaton), Scott Boden (Inverness Caledonian Thistle), Sam Wedgbury (Forest Green Rovers), Chris Holroyd (Macclesfield), Manny Smith (Gateshead), James Hurst (Dover Athletic), James Jennings (Cheltenham Town), Kevin Roberts (Halifax Town), Akil Wright (Fleetwood Town, Loan), Ntumba Massanka (Burnley, Loan), Alex Reid (Fleetwood Town, Loan)
Hamza Bencherif (York City), Iffy Allen (Bromley), Russell Penn (Gateshead), Khaellem Bailey-Nicholls (Rushall), John Rooney (Guiseley), Shwan Jalal (Macclesfield), Liam Walsh (Carmarthen), Jordan White (Barrow), Curtis Tilt (Blackpool), Martin Riley (Halifax Town), Callum Powell, Rob Evans, Anthony Barry, Kleiron Wolland, Izale McLeod
National League: 3rd FA Cup: 4th Qual Round Top scorer: Byron Harrison 3
Wrexham have had a strong campaign so far and as a result, they currently occupy third place in the National League having accumulated 29 points from 17 games.
Dean Keates’ men have been in great form of late, having gone 11 league games unbeaten.
However, on Tuesday night, AFC Fylde brought that run to an end as they claimed a 2-0 win over the Dragons.
Jonny Smith put Fylde in front after eight minutes. Jack Muldoon second-half goal secured the win for the home side.
Dunn, Roberts, M Smith, Marx, Jennings, Rutherford, Wright, Wedgbury, Kelly, Holroyd, Reid
Dibble, Boden, Carrington (Roberts 37′), Mackreth (Kelly 80′), Massanka (Reid 61′)
Wrexham will be able to recall their captain Shaun Pearson after he completed his suspension on Tuesday night.
Kevin Roberts is a doubt for the match against the O’s and he is likely to need a fitness test ahead of Saturday’s game.
The hosts will definitely be without Sam Wedgbury as he will serve a one-match suspension due to recieving a fifth yellow card of the season last time out.
On Tuesday night the O’s suffered yet another defeat as Gateshead took all three points back up north with them.
Jordan Burrow put the visitors ahead inside the first ten minutes as Orient failed to defend the cross to him, allowing Burrow to head home from close range.
Orient had started out in 5-2-3 formation but switched to a 4-3-3 and then a 4-2-3-1 all inside the first 45 minutes, which led to a disjointed display and overall a dire first-half from the O’s.
The home side were not much better after the break, but around the hour mark David Mooney had a golden opportunity from Jake Caprice’s cross. However, Mooney hesitated, taking too many touches before firing the ball at the Gateshead goalkeeper when he really should have scored.
Ten minutes from time, the away side capitalised on a mixup at the back and sealed their victory. Mark Ellis nodded the ball past Charlie Grainger as the Orient stopper rushed out of his goal, which left Burrow with an open goal to grab a brace.
Ellis Happe Widdowson
Sargeant, Westbrooke, Dayton (Widdowson 45′), Boco (McAnuff 68′), Sotiriou (Mooney 67′)
The O’s will be without Jobi McAnuff at the Racecourse ground as he serves a one-match suspension after picking up a fifth yellow card against Gateshead on his return from a groin injury.
Joe Widdowson is also likely to miss out this weekend after being substituted at half-time on Tuesday night due to a hamstring injury.
Depending on the system that Steve Davis chooses, Jamie Sendles-White could replace Widdowson in the three-man defence as the former Swindon Town defender is expected to fit again following a spell on the sidelines with illness.
Matt Harrold could also return to the squad, though he is likely to start on the bench as he is not fully fit after a struggling with a calf injury in recent weeks.
Alex Lawless remains in the treatment room due to a groin injury.
Charlie Lee (knee), Josh Coulson (Groin) and George Elokobi (hamstring) are all long-term injury concerns.
Leyton Orient and Wrexham were League Two sides when they last met. In January 2006, Martin Ling’s O’s secured a 2-1 win at the Racecourse Ground. Gary Alexander gave Orient the lead after just four minutes. Matt Lockwood then doubled the visitors’ lead from the penalty spot right before half-time. Wrexham pulled a goal back through Dean Bennett with a minute left, but it was too little too late for the hosts.
Wrexham’s last home win over Orient was back in January 1995. Gary Bennett bagged a hat-trick and Karl Connolly also found the net in a 4-1 win. Ian Bogie’s goal from the penalty spot proved to be just a consolation for the O’s.
Andrew Humphries & Simon Brown