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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Portsmouth (H)

24 December 2015

All the information ahead of our Boxing Day clash...

Leyton Orient host Portsmouth on Boxing Day as they bring a year of football at The Matchroom Stadium to a close.

The O's currently sit 10th in League Two, but Ian Hendon's side are still within touching distance of the Play-Off places with only three points separating them from Bristol Rovers in seventh.

Last Saturday saw Orient claim their fourth successive 1-1 draw in the league against Yeovil Town.

Francois Zoko had headed the Glovers into the lead on the stroke of half time, but Jobi McAnuff's 30-yard thunderbolt 16 minutes from time salvaged a point for the hosts.

Portsmouth arrive in E10 one point off the automatic promotion places in fourth, and are also unbeaten in their previous six league outings.

Paul Cook's side claimed an impressive victory at promotion rivals Northampton Town on Saturday, ending the Cobblers 10-match unbeaten run in the league.

Ryan Cresswell gave Northampton an early lead with a header on the 17th minute, but the score was level at the break when Pompey's Gareth Evans equalised 15 minutes later.

Substitute Conor Chaplin then popped up with the winner five minutes from time as he tucked away a rebound to close the gap at the top of the table.

THE LAST TIME WE MET

Leyton Orient 1 Portsmouth 0
12.03.13
Sky Bet League One

A goal just before the hour from Shaun Batt was enough for Orient to record a gritty victory that kept them in touch with the Play-Off places.

It was a game that won’t live long in the memory of those that braved the cold as despite controlling long periods, Orient struggled to break down a plucky Portsmouth side scraping for their lives in League One.

A second half strike from the returning Batt was just what Orient needed when he pounced on a sloppy pass from Dan Butler to coolly slot past Simon Eastwood from just inside the penalty area.

ORIENT: Jones, Odubajo, Cuthbert, Baudry (Omozusi 62), McSweeney, Cox, James (Rowlands 79), Vincelot, Cook, MacDonald, Batt (Lisbie 67)
SUBS: Grainger, Sawyer, Smith
GOAL: Batt (57)

TEAM NEWS

Orient midfielder Jack Payne is ruled out of the Boxing Day clash with Portsmouth, while several others are doubts going into the match.

Fellow midfielder Lloyd James is struggling with an ankle injury also sustained against Yeovil, while winger Blair Turgott is doubtful with a hamstring problem.

Sean Clohessy and John Marquis were both absent against the Glovers, and although Clohessy is expected to return having overcome an illness, Marquis continues to struggle with a knee injury.

Meanwhile, defender Connor Essam continues to regain match fitness having successfully completed 45 minutes in the O's friendly against Bishop's Stortford last night and midfielder Sammy Moore remains ahead of schedule in his recovery following a burst blood capsule behind his knee.

Paul McCallum and Dean Cox both continue their rehabilitation from respective knee ligament injuries and remain as the only long-term absentees.

BETTING (Odds correct at the time of preview)

Leyton Orient have won three and drawn one of their last four games against Portsmouth and are 21/10 for another three-point haul on Boxing Day.

The draw is 23/10, while a win for Portsmouth – who haven’t won on Boxing Day since a 2-1 Premier League win over West Ham in 2006 – is 6/4.

Sky Bet League Two leading scorer Jay Simpson is 9/2 to score the first goal, while it’s 35/1 he opens the scoring in a 2-1 home win.

COVERAGE

Not able to make it tomorrow? Follow coverage of the game on the O’s official Twitter feed. If you are looking for audio coverage, you can listen to commentary from BBC London’s Dave Victor on Orient PlayerHD.

Following the match head to leytonorient.com for match report and reaction.

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