Date: 31st January 2006 at 1:00pm
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Perhaps it’s slightly early to label games as ‘massive’. but it doesn’t matter which way you look at it, a win tonight for Orient would be a fantastic result and would seem them take a place in the top three. With two away games in four days, Martin Ling will be hoping that his side can continue their astonishing away form and lift themselves into the automatic promotion places.

The next four games against Rovers, Torquay, Carlisle and Northampton will surely shape Orient’s season. With two games against fellow promotion contenders, Orient need to take at least 4 points if not 6 from the next two games to put themselves in a strong position. With Northampton taking on Wycombe tonight, Orient will be hoping that they can take advantage whilst praying that the game at Sixfields ends in a stalemate.

A large crowd is expected tonight, and the Rovers fans are well known for really getting behind their side. With new manager Paul Trollope starting to get the best out of a talented squad, the Pirates will be looking to boost their play-off aspirations. Whilst Orient were playing against Premier League Opposition, Rovers managed a 1-0 defeat at Lincoln City. The Pirates have struggled to score goals, and Martin Ling will be hoping that will still be the case after this evening.

Vital Quotes:

They (Orient) will come to win the game, it’s how they play their football,They throw men forward when they attack, and their away record this season speaks for itself’. (Bristol Rovers manager, Paul Trollope)

Bristol Rovers Team News:

Bristol Rovers look set to welcome back captain James Hunt from a three match suspension after his red card at Rushden & Diamonds. Jamie Forrester is still out and Craig Hinton is missing after picking up a facial injury at Lincoln last weekend.

Player to watch: Junior Agogo

Junior Agogo is one of the most prolific strikers in League Two and gave Orient the runaround at Brisbane Road earlier in the season when Rovers triumphed 3-2. His partnership with Richard Walker has been very successful and that has been helped by the goal getting midfielder, Craig Disley.

Richard Walker is the top scorer with 14 goals so far this season, whilst Agogo has 11 and Disley 5.

Leyton Orient Team News:

Orient will have new signing Adam Tann available for today’s game, but Paul Connor will have to wait for his debut after his move went through too late for him to play. Jabo Ibehre returns to the side having sat out his one match ban at Charlton. Craig Easton remains sidelined with a calf injury.

Player to watch: Gary Alexander

Gary had numerous chances to score on Saturday and on another day he might have managed it. He’ll be hoping to show Paul Connor that he is the main man at Brisbane Road, and he’ll want to start doing that tonight with a couple of goals.

Match Facts & Stats

This is the 98th meeting between the two sides, with Rovers holding the upper hand having won 41 times to Orient’s 31. Rovers won 3-2 at Brisbane Road earlier in the season, whilst the corresponding fixture last season finished 1-1.

Orient’s last win at the Memorial Ground came in October 2002, when Jamal Campbell-Ryce and Kevin Nugent scored in a 2-1 win for the O’s.

Rovers currently occupy 10th position in League Two and are on 41 points, 8 points behind the O’s. They’ve lost five times at home this season, with 5 wins and 3 draws.

Match Prediction:

Tonight represents a massive opportunity for Orient to cement themselves in the promotion race. A victory here would be a real boost for the side and would set them up nicely for the trip to Torquay on Saturday. With Orient’s rivals dropping points, the O’s must make sure that they capitalise.

The exertions of Saturday will hopefully not have taken their toll, and if Orient can put in the same level of performance as they have in previous away games, then there will only be one winner.

JD will have a match report for you by the early hours of tomorrow morning or at least midday tomorrow depending when he gets back from Bristol!