High-flying Preston have dynamic strike duo for Orient encounter
What a difference a year makes. Only last May, Leyton Orient were on the brink of being promoted to the Championship, though agonisingly lost to Rotherham United on penalties in the play-off final.
Since, then owner Barry Hearn has sold the club and two managerial changes followed. They go into the match against Preston North End hovering above the League One relegation zone on goal difference, and odds of 4/1 with Coral to emerge from Deepdale with three points.
Preston, meanwhile, have been nothing if not consistent. Finishing last season in fifth, they are in fourth place this term and, under boss Simon Grayson, are going from strength to strength. However, they slipped last time out in the league against Sheffield United, succumbing to a 2-1 defeat and will be keen to put that right, as an odds-on price of 8/11 suggest.
Grayson has brought in striker Jermaine Beckford on loan from Bolton Wanderers, who he managed while in charge of Leeds United, to boost the club’s frontline with top scorer Joe Garner injured, and the 31-year-old is 4/1 to break the deadlock.
The last time Beckford featured in League One for the West Yorkshire side, he netted a hugely impressive 52 goals in 76 appearances across two seasons, so is more than proven at this level and more importantly, Grayson knows how to get the best out of him.
Fellow forward Sylvan Ebanks-Blake has also come in on a free and was leading marksman Championship level for two successive seasons, having scored 72 goals in 176 appearances, laying on 29 assists. The 28-year-old has odds of 5/1 to break the deadlock, and Grayson will be hoping he can strike up productive partnership with Beckford.
Orient have taken six points from their last four league fixtures, and top scorer Chris Dagnall has three goals in as many matches. The 28-year-old is 11/4 to net anytime.
Veteran striker Kevin Lisbie, meanwhile, who played an important part in the O’s promotion push last season, has seen his chances limited this term. Nevertheless, a return of two goals in four league appearances prove he’s still got it, and odds of 11/4 to score in the anytime market represent good value.