Preview: Tranmere Rovers (H)

access_time 2 months ago

The O’s are back in FA Cup action this weekend as Tranmere Rovers travel to The Breyer Group Stadium for a place in the third round.

Orient host Tranmere in the world’s oldest national football competition where they will be looking to bounce back from a frustrating loss to Northampton Town, which ended an eight-match unbeaten league run, and a penalty shootout exit in midweek to MK Dons in the Papa John’s Trophy.

The corresponding league fixture last season saw a disappointing loss for Orient as Tranmere took all three points. However, the recent history of this match-up has seen the O’s win four out of the last five meetings.

Callum Reilly is an injury absentee for the FA Cup tie, whilst Craig Clay was set to return to training late into the week, so will be a last minute decision perhaps for Kenny Jackett.

The Opposition

Tranmere secured progress in to the second round of the FA Cup at the expense of Crawley Town, after a Callum McManaman goal gave them a narrow victory.

Tranmere sit two places below Orient in tenth in the league, but have a game in hand on The O’s.

The team from Merseyside have the joint best defence in the division having conceded only 14 goals in their 18 matches. Tranmere’s stubborn defence is led by centre-back Peter Clarke who has made over 750 EFL appearances and helped Rovers to their Papa John’s Trophy final appearance last season.

Tranmere have found the net just 15 times themselves in the league – only 22nd place Carlisle United have scored fewer.

Rovers are currently managed by Micky Mellon, who is in his second spell at the club, having returned to Prenton Park after a season at Scottish Premiership side Dundee United.

His Rovers team have shown their ability to come from behind in their last two matches – Tranmere came from two goals down to earn a point against Bristol Rovers, before coming from behind again to earn all three points in their victory over Bradford City.

Key Player – Paul Glatzel

Glatzel joined Tranmere on loan from fellow Merseyside outfit, Liverpool, in the summer.

The dynamic forward has been on a good scoring run recently, having netted four times in his last four appearances for Rovers.

The Tranmere forward earned his side all three points in their last match, scoring the decisive goal in the win over Bradford City. This followed a stellar performance against Bristol City when his goal and assist inspired Tranmere to come back from two goals behind to earn themselves a point.

Glatzel joined Liverpool’s celebrated academy at under-9 level and went on to captain the under-18 side. The left-footed striker originally represented England at youth level before switching his international allegiance to Germany, where he scored one goal in two appearances for the under-18s.

During the 2018/19 season, Glatzel netted 28 times for Liverpool’s youth side as well as scoring the decisive penalty in a shootout win against Manchester City, as the Reds won the final of the prestigious FA Youth Cup.

His progress at Liverpool was hampered by a serious knee injury picked up in a first-team friendly in July 2019, coincidentally against current club Tranmere Rovers.


The O’s last faced Tranmere at home in the FA Cup on 17th November 2009 when a late Ash Taylor goal saw the visitors progress from the first round with a 1-0 win.

The two sides had previously played out a draw at Prenton Park where Luke Ashworth had put Orient ahead in the seventh minute before Chris Shuker equalised for the home side.

The O’s will be looking to reach the third round proper of the FA Cup for the first time since the 2013/14 season when Orient beat Southport and Walsall before eventually being knocked out by Yeovil Town.

From the dressing room…

Manager Kenny Jackett and striker Harry Smith have looked ahead to the weekend’s cup clash.

We don’t want to go out of two competitions in one week. We want to start the next eight days very well,” said Kenny Jackett.

“We’re close to Tranmere in the league, and we know it’ll be a tough test. But we need to bounce back, and use our good home form to do that.”

Striker Harry Smith was clear on his ambitions in the tournament, and noted how the cup still held plenty of magic to him.

“It’s a big test for us, I always like to do well in the FA Cup. I love it, and I want to go as far as we can, and if we get through could get a big tie,” said Smith.

The Referee

James Oldham will be the referee for the cup clash in E10.

This will be the first game James Oldham has refereed at The O’s since 2019/20’s 2-2 draw with Oldham Athletic.

Oldham has officiated 16 games so far this campaign, handing out 64 yellows and two red cards.


Our cover star for this one is defender Adam Thompson, who recently returned to action! This will be on sale around the ground for just £3.50. Supporters wishing to purchase a physical copy of the programme can do so, thanks to our friends at Curtis Sport.


Unfortunately, there’s no video stream available for this one either in the UK or internationally.

Audio streams will be available, however, and can be purchased here.


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Check out your matchday programme for the discount code and book online here.

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