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Oct 9, 2021 at 3pm UK
Leyton OrientLeyton Orient
Gotts (48')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Beckles (69')
Archibald (90+2')

Preview: Barrow vs. Leyton Orient - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Barrow vs. Leyton Orient - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's League Two clash between Barrow and Leyton Orient, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Two of the sides currently holding a playoff place in League Two go head to head at Holker Street on Saturday, when Barrow host Leyton Orient.

Neither side were expected to be fighting for a spot this high up the table before the season started, but will look to continue their fine starts to the new campaign when they meet this weekend nonetheless.

Match preview

After finishing just two places and five points above the relegation places in 2020-21, Barrow will be the more surprised of the two teams this weekend, but with the past now behind them, their focus will remain on taking one game at a time.

An initial slow start for the new manager Mark Cooper saw the Bluebirds win just one of their opening five league fixtures this season, but they have since followed that up with three wins from the next five.

Although two of those arrived against early strugglers at the wrong end of the table - Oldham Athletic and Mansfield Town - the signs of an improved season this time around are certainly there for the manager to see.

One of those victories was achieved last weekend, when Barrow overcame Mansfield at the One Call Stadium thanks to a second-half penalty from Oliver Banks.

The visitors saw less of the ball but will feel they deserved their victory after creating a host of clear-cut chances and putting in a solid defensive performance, particularly from young defender Joe Grayson.

Meanwhile, Leyton Orient head to Holker Street positioned nicely in fourth place as it stands, three places and one point above their opponents this weekend.

Since returning to the football league in 2019-20, the O's have achieved solid finishes around mid-table in their two seasons, and now look set to continue their upward trajectory in recent years if they can continue their fine form this year.

After two disappointing results in the last two league outings have seen Orient pick up just one point, Saturday's away side did manage to bounce back in midweek when they defeated fellow League Two outfit Crawley Town 4-0 in the EFL Trophy.

Dominating from start to finish, a brace from Ruel Sotiriou, as well as goals from Dan Happe and Dan Kemp, saw Kenny Jackett's men comfortably return to winning ways.

Now Jackett will be looking for his side to put in a similar performance on Saturday after suffering a damaging setback in league action away to Port Vale last weekend, where Orient conceded two goals in second-half injury time to surrender a 2-1 lead and lose 3-2 instead.

Barrow League Two form:
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W

Barrow form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L

Leyton Orient League Two form:
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L

Leyton Orient form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W

Team News

Last weekend's match-winner Banks will be missing for the hosts on Saturday, as he is forced to sit out with a one-match suspension after picking up an accumulation of five yellow cards this season.

Dimitri Sea has missed the last couple of games with a hamstring problem, and he remains in doubt for this one too, but Remeao Hutton will be back available after missing the midweek EFL Trophy tie due to the birth of his child.

However, Tom Beadling, Connor Brown, Jamie Devitt, Luke James, Michael Jones, Kgosi Ntlhe and Matthew Platt all remain ruled out through various injuries, to leave the manager with a thin squad to choose from.

As for the visitors, striker Paul Smyth will be unavailable after being called up for international duty with Northern Ireland.

After making seven changes for the cup tie in midweek, Jackett will have a selection headache after an impressive performance and victory from his rotated side.

Barrow possible starting lineup:
Farman; J Jones, Ellis, Grayson; Hutton, Taylor, Gotts, Brough; Stevens; Gordon, Kay

Leyton Orient possible starting lineup:
Vigouroux; Ogie, Beckles, Happe; James, Kyprianou, Pratley, Wood; Sotiriou, Smith, Kemp

We say: Barrow 1-1 Leyton Orient

The two sides head into Saturday's encounter in similar form, so the outcome is certainly a difficult one to predict. Because of this, we are sticking with a draw here, with very little to call between Barrow and Leyton Orient.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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League Two Table
1Forest Green RoversForest Green1594227131431
2Port Vale1584327151228
3Northampton TownNorthampton158342011927
4Exeter CityExeter1568125151026
5Swindon TownSwindon157532215726
6Leyton Orient1558225121323
7Harrogate TownHarrogate156542720723
8Newport CountyNewport156542518723
9Sutton UnitedSutton157262318523
10Hartlepool UnitedHartlepool157261720-323
11Tranmere RoversTranmere156451110122
12Bradford CityBradford155642118321
16Bristol Rovers155371723-618
17Colchester UnitedColchester154561219-717
18Crawley TownCrawley155281725-817
19Salford City154471617-116
20Mansfield TownMansfield153571420-614
22Oldham AthleticOldham153391122-1112
23Carlisle UnitedCarlisle152671124-1312
24Scunthorpe UnitedScunthorpe152581129-1811
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3West Ham UnitedWest Ham1172223131023
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8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves115151112-116
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12Leicester CityLeicester114341618-215
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16Aston Villa113171420-610
19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle110561224-125
20Norwich CityNorwich11128526-215
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