Oldham Athletic v Leyton Orient – Boundary Park – Sky Bet League Two – Saturday 3pm
Oldham Athletic v Leyton Orient – Preview:
PETER KITCHEN glanced nervously towards Leyton Orient’s vital Sky Bet League Two clash at Oldham Athletic and insisted it is a game neither side can afford to lose.
Orient head to Boundary Park without a win in six matches. However, an altogether more solid display saw the east Londoners earn a 1-1 leasing.com Trophy draw at League One Bristol Rovers before the Gas progressed via a penalty shootout.
Nevertheless, with both sides looking over their shoulder at the trap door, three points is a must to lay a platform and pull away from trouble.
“This has developed into a vitally important game what with both sides out of sorts and in a precarious position,” Kitchen told Yellow Sport.
“The O’s are one point and a place above the Latics, but with neither seemingly able to buy a win. The draw at Bristol Rovers during the week has given interim boss, Ross Embleton, something to think about – plus his options are now boosted with the return of Connor Wilkinson and Lee Angol – the latter finding the net at the Memorial Stadium during the week which will boost the player and the manager.
“Of course, the position Ross finds himself in again isn’t perfect. I’m sure the Orient hierarchy are monitoring the situation closely. They have to make the right decision, but the pressure to appoint a permanent manager sooner rather than later will crank up should we lose on Saturday.
“Oldham have only won four times themselves this season but did manage to beat Newport County by a goal to nil last time out in League Two, although an FA Cup defeat to Burton Albion has perhaps left them a little deflated ahead of the O’s visit.
“We have to be prepared to dig deep but also to be brave in an attacking sense. It’s certainly a game Orient can win if they set up correctly and focus.
“This is the start of a busy run of fixture leading into the Christmas programme. But when you are towards the bottom of the league, every game becomes a bit of a cup final with the points much more important than the performance.”
Supporters of troubled Oldham are planning a protest against their owner, sighting a steady decline at the club as a cause for concern. And with Orient having experienced similar issues before Nigel Travis, and Kent Teague taking the helm, O’s fans will be joining their counterparts in an act of solidarity.
“We all want to see our team win, but the longevity of our clubs is the most important thing,” the former frontman added.
“I’m very proud to see the Orient faithful standing by another club and supporting football in general. We experienced the anxiety and know only too well the worry of whether our beloved club will make it through. Thankfully, for Orient, Nigel and Kent took charge of the situation and we have a team to watch. The O’s fans actions in standing side by side with those from Oldham proves that they haven’t forgotten and will use our struggle as a positive to help others.”
Oldham Athletic v Leyton Orient – Head to head:
Oldham Athletic won: 26
Leyton Orient won: 19
Oldham Athletic v Leyton Orient – Last five meetings (all competitions):
October 5, 2013 – League One
Oldham Athletic 1-1 Leyton Orient
March 24, 2014 – League One
Leyton Orient 1-1 Oldham Athletic
August 16, 2014 – League One
Oldham Athletic 1-3 Leyton Orient
November 8, 2014 – FA Cup
Oldham Athletic 1-0 Leyton Orient
February 21, 2015 – League One
Leyton Orient 3-0 Oldham Athletic
Peter Kitchen’s prediction: Oldham Athletic 0-1 Leyton Orient
Jeevesie’s prediction: Oldham Athletic 1-1 Leyton Orient