Leyton Orient v Southend: O’s to land first-leg lead

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Leyton Orient’s home advantage is expected to see the League One outfit take a valuable first-leg lead in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy area final.

The O’s are yet to concede a goal in this competition, nor have they required extra-time at any stage, which makes it difficult to oppose their 10/11 favouritism here. Southend travel to the Matchroom Stadium knowing their passage to the area final has not been as smooth as their east London adversary’s, though their price of 3/1 may hold a certain appeal.

The reason for this is that the Shrimpers are enjoying a five-match undefeated streak against the Orient, picking up two convincing 3-0 wins in this period. They’ve also recently halted a run of six without a win by putting six points on the board from games with Chesterfield and Oxford.

However, for Paul Sturrock’s men to have any chance of winning the game, they’re going to have be at least level when the half-time whistle blows.

Of the previous seven games in which they’ve failed to win, Southend have been behind at the break, so keeping things tight in the first half will be crucial to their chances. This stat lends favour to the 29/20 on offer for the unpredictable Orient to win the first half, as well as the 15/2 available for the game to be tied at the interval for the visitors to snatch victory in the second half.

With Leyton Orient going unbeaten in their last six home matches contested over 90 minutes, however, this has to be where the smart money is.

A home win with fewer than 2.5 goals scored in the game pays out nicely at 3/1, though with just one O’s encounter of their previous 15 at the Matchroom having seen over three goals, covering your bases with punts on the 5/2 available for two goals scored and the 10/3 for three may well be the way to go here.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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