Leyton Orient will head up to the Peninsula Stadium in Greater Manchester to take on Salford City on Saturday aware that a win is an important pointer for the rest of the season.
The kick off time for the first game of the campaign will be the incredibly early hour of 12.30pm UK time (1.30pm CET and Malta time).
This will be a stern test for Leyton Orient as Salford have won 3 promotions in the last 4 seasons. For those unaware Salford are owned 50% by former Manchester United players, the class of ‘92 members Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, Phil Neville and Nicky Butt, with businessman Peter Lim owning the other 50%. Salford City have come a long way in a very short period of time and their next step up would be the football league.
As the O’s found out last year the National League is no kids party. A mid placed position was exactly what they required for some type of stabilisation for the club as manager Justin Edinburgh was wise with signings and got Orient to play his way. So the new season beckons and everyone connected with the club will be quietly hoping to obtain at the minimum a play off place.
The two teams have never played against each other so statistics are non existent for them however for the winners of the National League North it is a superb indicator that Salford City are certainly not in the National League to make up the numbers. Graham Alexander is the new man at the helm and took over in May 2018 with Bernard Morley and Anthony Johnson who were appointed joint-managers in January 2015 making way. All the players for the club went professional in 2017. They won a mind boggling 27 of their 41 games they played in the league last season and were promoted as champions with a whopping 75 goals to their name. Not bad for only their second season in the 6 tier of English football.
For Leyton Orient now the storm of the last few seasons appears to have subsided Edinburgh is still driving the bus as manager with Ross Embleton his assistant with Martin Ling director of football. Last year the O’s finished the season in 13th place with 60 points after having post Christmas stumbles that worried a lot of the fans. With the collywobbles disappearing they grabbed important points in the spring to keep them nicely stationed in mid table. They won 16 of their 46 matches and scored only 58 goals. They will need a few more than that to heave them into a play off spot at minimum this season.
Dale Gorman has come in from Stevenage on a free transfer, a 22 year old central midfielder with dual British and Irish nationality. James Alabi has signed a deal, the 23 year old centre forward might be exactly what the doctor ordered with pace and agility. He comes in from Tranmere Rovers and going the other way up to Merseyside to join the Rovers is Jake Caprice. Christian Scales has been released as has Romuald Boco. Charley Barker has also departed for pastures new along with Ryan McLean. You have a feeling another couple of acquisitions would be required to beef up the squad a little.
Orient had a great result in their last friendly before the beginning of the season with a spirited fighting 2-2 draw with A13 rivals Southend United last weekend. The good news is top scorer from the previous campaign Macauley Bonne settled in well with new boy Alabi. This could prove crucial in the coming season.
Salford will be favourites but let’s see what the new strike force can do.
Why not have a bet on the O’s – you can via this link.
Orient are priced at 2.20 as the first team to score therefore a bet of €30 could see you win back a possible €66.00.
A very friendly bet sees the O’s winning the game 2-1 with a price of 10.00 so a bet of €20 could see you rake in a phenomenal €200.00. Worth a punt.