Leyton Orient v Carlisle United – Sky Bet League One – Gaughan Group Stadium – Saturday (3pm) – Preview
Peter Kitchen believes Leyton Orient will continue their terrific recent Sky Bet League One form when struggling Carlisle United heads to East London on Saturday.
Speaking to Yellow Sport ahead of the clash, the former frontman said: “Expectations in E10 are sky-high as we look to continue our excellent run which has seen us unbeaten in our last six games, four of which have been won and include the scalps of league leaders Portsmouth at Fratton Park and Bolton Wanderers at home and who are now in second place.
“This good form has seen the O’s rack up five clean sheets, concede only one goal in six and subsequently climb up the table from sixteenth to tenth since Christmas.
“I said last week that we were going into the Reading game away for the first time this season as favourites to take all three points, against a club in turmoil and a side who must feel they are swimming against the tide. To be fair to the young Reading side, they have now only lost two in the last twelve games at home despite their troubles, they didn’t give in when they went behind after nineteen minutes last week and put up a very good fight to make the O’s battle for their solitary point.”
Kitchen continued: “Carlisle United are this Saturday’s visitors to the Gaughan Group stadium and without giving the team the kiss of death, I think this game is more of a home banker for the O’s than it was for us winning at the Royals.
“The Cumbrians are second from bottom and look in desperate trouble, being ten points off Port Vale in twentieth place. Unless they can turn things around in the second half of the season, they are looking doomed to be relegated back into League Two.
“They were promoted with the O’s last season, but both club’s fortunes couldn’t be more different. We have strengthened and consolidated our place this season, whilst Carlisle doesn’t look to have progressed and has lost their last four consecutive games, two at home and two away, they already look to be in trouble.
Kitchen concluded: “Manager Paul Simpson, did a fantastic job in his second spell, saving them from relegation to the National League in 2022 and last season got them promoted along with us. Things are not going so well this season and they must be fearful of playing an O’s side who have already beaten them twice this season, firstly 1-0 at Brunton Park in the league and 3-1 in an FA Cup first-round tie, and they’re coming to us when we have just hit a purple patch.
“We look to have finally found our feet at this level and we look much more dangerous and effective, especially in the final third. Dan Agyei’s return to fitness has certainly been a key factor in our improvement in forward areas with four goals in as many games.
“I’m not saying this game will be a walkover, far from it. The Cumbrians are fighting for their lives and will certainly put up a mass defence and be difficult to break down. I said a few weeks back that we needed to raise our energy levels and tempo, get back to the high-pressing game and impose our style of play again and it appears that we have done just that.
“If we can continue to perform at this level then I feel very confident that we will take all three points and continue to close the gap on the play-off places.”
Peter Kitchen’s prediction: Leyton Orient 2-0 Carlisle United
Jeevesie’s prediction: Leyton Orient 3-0 Carlisle United