Leyton Orient v Bolton Wanderers – Sky Bet League One – Gaughan Group Stadium – Saturday (3pm) – Preview
Peter Kitchen believes Leyton Orient will relish the opportunity of facing high-flying Bolton Wanderers at the Gaughan Group Stadium in what is sure to be a mouthwatering Sky Bet League One clash on Saturday.
The former frontman enthused over the most recent performance, telling Yellow Sport: “With O’s fans Jubilant and still basking in the glory of our 3-0 win at leaders Portsmouth, they should be licking their lips at the prospect of putting another of the league’s highfliers to the sword when Bolton Wanderers are the visitors to E10.
“Both teams started the new year in a very good place after an excellent run of results. Expectations will be sky-high. This game promises to be a cracking encounter with both teams hoping to reinforce their respective ambitions for this season. For the Trotters, that’s an automatic promotion to the Championship, while for the O’s it’s further progression and a place in the top half of the table.”
Kitchen continued: “Bolton is an old, established club who are one of the EFL’s founding members, a big club, who have spent much of their history in the top division and were also FA Cup winners on four occasions last century.
“They were last in the Premier League in 2012 but have since spent recent years in the lowest two divisions due to financial problems. However, they have a huge fan base and they appear to be upwardly mobile and on their way back. They are probably one of the most complete teams in this division, with a very solid defence, they have creativity in the middle of the park. In Dion Charles, a striker in top form with seventeen goals already this season and they will be every bit if not more formidable than Portsmouth.
“We should all be very excited about us playing the likes of Portsmouth, Bolton and Derby County, these are the games in this division to look forward to because these bigger clubs will only be in the lower leagues for a limited time.
“Last week Bolton were second in the table, but Derby’s Monday night win over Burton Albion took them to third while Bolton dropped to fourth place, but they’re only two points behind Pompey, have three games in hand and are in excellent form. Bolton have won their last four league games including the 3-2 victory over us at their Toughsheet Stadium just before Christmas. In January have triumphed at Accrington Stanley 3-1 in the EFL trophy to take them into the last eight of this competition.
“In the FA Cup, Bolton drew 0-0 at Premier League Luton Town and took them to the wire, only losing 2-1 in the midweek replay. Perhaps Portsmouth last week were a little complacent and over-confident having thumped us 4-0 early in the season, but we turned the tables on them with a three-goal first-half blitz, in similar fashion to what Bolton did to us in December.”
Looking ahead to Saturday’s clash, Kitchen added: “I expect Bolton to be far more respectful of us this time out and fully aware of our win at Pompey and also what we produced against them in the second half of that game to nearly rescue a point. We should be quietly confident because we are now unbeaten in four, and with four consecutive clean sheets, having won three of those games. We were rocking after last Saturday. Richie and the fans will want to see a repeat of that first-half effort when we were much more creative and incisive in the final third.
“Dan Agyei and Shaq Forde are both scoring and linking up well. They are showing a lot of promise that they can continue to develop this partnership and have generated more positivity and optimism amongst the fans about our forward play.
kitchen concluded: “Our experience of Bolton’s first-half blitz on us at the Toughsheet should make us much better prepared, be ready to start well, and try to impose ourselves onto the visitors. I said last week that form is just a barometer of how a team is doing and that it’s what happens on the day that counts.
“We’ve shown what we are capable of. If we can reproduce this level of performance consistently and more regularly, then the second half of the season is going to be a memorable one and take us where we want to be.”
Peter Kitchen’s prediction: Leyton Orient 1-1 Bolton Wanderers
Jeevesie’s prediction: Leyton Orient 2-1 Bolton Wanderers