Two sides that are fighting for promotion out of League Two meet at Field Mill on Saturday afternoon as Mansfield Town host the runaway league leaders Leyton Orient.
After a run of seven games without defeat, Leyton Orient have regained a healthy 11-point gap at the summit of the League Two table and look like the obvious candidate to lift the league two trophy come May.
Richie Wellens’ side have taken advantage of an easy run of games and have managed to take eight points away from their last four outings. This has included narrow victories against Rochdale and Crawley who currently occupy the bottom two spaces in the table.
However, Orient will feel like they could have picked up a few more wins instead of draws in recent weeks. This was evident in Orient’s last outing, where they were held to a draw against Swindon Town at Brisbane Road.
Orient dominated the first half, racking up eight corners and 61% possession, and this was rewarded as Omar Beckles headed the hosts in front, however, Swindon substitute Jacob Wakeling levelled after the interval and the points were shared as the game finished 1-1.
Following Orient’s unbeaten February, Richie Wellens has deservedly been nominated for the League two Manager of the Month award. Wellens managed to weather the storm of the hectic Christmas period and the O’s have become the clear favourites to achieve promotion to League One.
Mansfield currently find themselves in 8th place in the league Two table and are one point behind Salford who occupy the final playoff place. Crucially, the Stags have played two fewer games than that of the two teams directly above them, which may prove critical in the run into the end of the season.
The Stags are in the midst of their best run of form of the season and have only lost one game out of their last eight league outings. Nigel Clough’s side have managed to gain 12 points from their last five games, recording impressive wins against the likes of Carlisle, Tranmere and Wimbledon.
In recent years, Mansfield have struggled in this fixture and have only recorded one win in the last seven league meetings. This stretch of results has included four wins for the O’s and three draws.
It was Orient who narrowly won the reverse fixture when these sides met at the beginning of the campaign. The Stags were left to rue several spurned first-half chances including a missed penalty in the first minute by Stephen Mcalughlin.
The O’s ensured that Mansfield paid the price for missed chances as Charlie Kelman fired home a second-half winner. The game finished 1-0 as the O's protected their slender advantage with a resilient defensive display and the Stags struggled to pose an incisive threat.
Despite Leyton Orient leading the league, it is Mansfield who are home favourites heading into this weekend’s matchup @ 29/20, whilst an away win for the O’s is currently priced @ 9/5. We are backing Mansfield to win and BTTS because the Stags come into the game in their most impressive form of the season.