Date: 28th January 2020 at 9:00am
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This evening sees Leyton Orient arrive at the Alexandra Stadium with the O’s sitting in 17th place with the Alex looking to do the league double following a 2-1 win at Brisbane Road back in September.

So far this season, they have beaten Cheltenham Town, Mansfield Town, Northampton Town, Walsall, Grimsby Town, Cambridge United and Newport County, they have drawn with Stevenage, Salford City, Exeter City, Port Vale, Carlisle United, Oldham Athletic, Bradford City, Newport, Grimsby and Northampton while they have lost to Macclesfield Town, Crawley Town, Swindon Town, us, Colchester United twice, Plymouth Argyle, Morecambe, Scunthorpe United, Forest Green Rovers, Walsall and Port Vale.

In the cups, they lost to Plymouth Argyle in the EFL Cup 1st Round while they lost against Maldon & Tiptree at the same stage of the FA Cup. In the EFL Trophy, they finished second their group after beating both Southend United and Brighton & Hove Albion’s Under-21 (the latter on penalties) with a loss against AFC Wimbledon in the middle of those wins and a defeat at Bristol Rovers on penalties in Round 2.

Since the first meeting, they have made three signings with goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux join from Everton de Vina, midfielder Ousseynou Cisse has joined on loan from Gillingham for the rest of the season and forward Danny Johnson joining from Dundee yesterday (but not in time for this game). They have allowed defender Shadrach Ogie and James Albai to join non-league teams Dover Athletic and Eastleigh respectively on loan until the end of the season.

Looking back in the archives, the two teams have met 31 times with Leyton Orient leading the head-to-head with 12 wins to 10 with 9 draws. Crewe’s biggest win came in a 3-0 victory at the Alexandra Stadium in December 1994 while Leyton Orient’s biggest win came at the same ground in January 2007 with a 4-0 win.

Who are the officials for the game?

The officials for this game see Leigh Doughty as the man in the middle where he is assisted by Richard Bartlett and David Hunt with Andrew Dallison being the fourth official. Here is the only Crewe game that has been refereed by Doughty in the previous 5 years:

  • Newport County 1-0 Crewe Alexandra (24th August 2019)

I asked Leyton Orient supporter Alex Rose for his thoughts going into the game.

How would you describe your season so far?

Our season so far has been slightly worse than we expected but, given the tragic passing of Justin and the sale of our 2 best players, to be in a position where we look near enough safe and able to plan for next season is a positive I’d say our season has been acceptable.

Which position is the one that you should improve the most in this transfer window from the squad you currently have?

I feel we need a centre forward to partner Connor Wilkinson, we have talented youngsters coming through but ultimately we need a proven goal scorer. Potentially another full-back as we are currently playing players out of position in those areas.

What do you think the team will be for the game?

I’d like us to play 4-4-2 however I expect a 4-3-3 line up with Sam Sargent in goal, a back 4 of Brophy – Happe – Ekpiteta – Marsh, a midfield 3 of Wright Clay and Cisse and a front 3 of Maguire-Drew Wilkinson and Angol.

How would you set-up to nullify your team?

If I was Crewe I would play a 3-5-2 to stop our danger men up top. If you stop crosses into the box we will struggle to score.

Who is the danger man for this game?

Our 2 danger men are Jordan Maguire-Drew and Connor Wilkinson – in particular, JMD – he will either wow you or make you extremely frustrated, easily the most talented player in the league but slow and very inconsistent. Connor Wilkinson has the quality to go past a man and score too!

What do you think is a realistic aim for Leyton Orient this season?

Realistically I believe we need to stay up. I don’t care if it’s in goal difference! Maybe bring through another youngster or two and just aim to finish as far away from 24th as possible!