Peter Kitchen: It will be tough, but could be a cracker

Leyton Orient v Bradford City – Breyer Group Stadium – Sky Bet League Two – Saturday 3pm

Leyton Orient v Bradford City – Preview:

PETER KITCHEN thinks Leyton Orient’s Sky Bet League Two clash with Bradford City could turn out to be an early Christmas cracker for the Breyer Group Stadium crowd.

The O’s are looking to rediscover some consistency but were buoyed by an altogether more solid display in gaining a share of the spoils from a 1-1 draw at Oldham Athletic last week.

Meanwhile, visitors, Bradford, occupy one of the play-off spots, sitting just two points off second place and having proved more than capable opponents both at home as well as on their travels.

“Bradford will provide a huge challenge for an Orient side trying to learn how to win again,” Kitchen told Yellow Sport.

“It is a massive game for both sides but currently for different reasons at this particular stage of the season. Orient will have to put in a shift against a side believing they can achieve promotion.

“We can’t afford to carry anyone. The last thing we need is to be chasing the game. The players need to be at it from the start – making life as uncomfortable as they can for the Bantams.”

Kitchen continued: “Last weeks performance will have given the boys heart and a little more confidence. It wasn’t always pretty but proved to be fairly effective. Certainly, closing down space for Bradford to play in will be vital. It will be competitive – we must not hand them any encouragement.”

Orient’s winless league run stretched to six matches following that Boundary Park stalemate. And although there was a visible improvement, Kitchen expects the O’s are still a little twitchy.

“The longer we go without a win, the more nervous the players will become. This is not ideal, but the O’s need to ensure something from the game. This is possible if individually and collectively we do the simple things well.

“We all know that Orient have been vulnerable at home – the crowd can, and will, play their part in giving the team a lift as will the recent return to fitness of Lee Angol and Connor Wilkinson.

“This, along with the emerging talents of Hector Kyprianou and Ruel Sotiriou will give Ross Embleton some extra attacking options, should he chose to use them. But ultimately, the right attitude, mindset and nerve is the minimum requirement if we are to take something from the game.

“As I’ve mentioned, it will be difficult and is a tough one to call. However, all the right attributes will give Orient a chance against one of the leagues better teams.”

Leyton Orient v Bradford City – Head to head:

Leyton Orient won: 16
Drawn: 11
Bradford City won: 14

Leyton Orient v Bradford City – Last five meetings (all competitions):

November 29, 2008 – FA Cup
Bradford City 1-2 Leyton Orient

December 14, 2013 – League One
Bradford City 1-1 Leyton Orient

March 29, 2014 – League One
Leyton Orient 0-1 Bradford City

November 29, 2014 – League One
Bradford City 3-1 Leyton Orient

February 18, 2015 – League One
Leyton Orient 0-2 Bradford City

Peter Kitchen’s prediction: Leyton Orient 2-2 Bradford City
Jeevesie’s prediction: Leyton Orient 1-1 Bradford City

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Brian Jeeves

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