Team News: Chester vs Leyton Orient
PUBLISHED: 16:30 20 February 2018
Simon O'Connor Photography
Will Justin Edinburgh rotate his starting XI ahead of Saturday’s FA Trophy quarter-final with Gateshead?
Leyton Orient will play their 34th National League match of the season tonight away to struggling Chester and head coach Justin Edinburgh will have a tricky decision to make ahead of the match.
The Blues are 22nd in the table and five points from safety, but they did stun Eastleigh 3-1 at the weekend.
Orient are in excellent form themselves, however, with the team on a four-match unbeaten run in all competitions.
Here is where the conundrum lies for Edinburgh, does he play his full strength XI this evening or rest a couple of players ahead of Saturday’s FA Trophy quarter-final tie at home to Gateshead?
Forward Dan Holman is cup-tied for this weekend, so he will definitely play, but you wonder if O’s head coach may decide to give Macauley Bonne a much-needed rest.
The 22-year-old top goalscorer has started all but two of Orient’s games in all competitions, missing the 2-1 defeat at Ebbsfleet United (November 11) because he was on international duty with Zimbabwe and the 3-0 loss at Torquay United (November 25) due to suspension.
With a big game coming up on Saturday, Edinburgh could drop Bonne to the bench and give Matt Harrold or David Mooney a start to keep them fresh.
At the other end of the pitch, new signing Sam Ling is yet to make his debut for O’s since rejoining the club from Dagenham & Redbridge earlier this month.
Ling, like Holman, is cup-tied for the FA Trophy and so Orient’s head coach could decide to give the youngster his debut at Chester in order to protect right-back Jake Caprice for the Gateshead fixture.
O’s are covered in most other areas, but with such an important game coming up, it would make sense for Edinburgh to rotate some of his starting XI.
Whatever team he picks at the Deva Stadium, Orient will feel they are good enough to win this evening.
Edinburgh appears to be putting together a squad capable of playing attractive football and also doing the dirty side of the game.
Another test of that will be tonight, but O’s will hope to come through with flying colours once again.