Orient to win again under Wellens
Leyton Orient v Barrow
Having been early promotion chasers, Orient’s brief flirtation with the relegation zone looks to be over after back-to-back wins under Richie Wellens has seen them quickly climb back up the table. The manner of those wins suggests that Wellens has finally stopped the rot, with his side fully deserving of their six goals without reply against Barrow and Rochdalke, since going 1-0 down against the latter.
Their opponents here will hope that their own change of manager will see a turnaround, but Barrow fans will be asking a lot of Phil Brown for him to come in and get anything here. Unlike in Wellens’ case, there is very little to suggest Brown is an upgrade on the departed Cooper and any odds-against on the home side looks value.
Hartlepool to add to hosts’ woes
Northampton v Hartlepool
Cobblers’ promotion hopes were dealt a big blow in defeat to Bristol Rovers last weekend in a game that highlighted their attacking deficiency. There is no knocking Jon Brady’s side’s defensive prowess, but an over-reliance on set-pieces for goals could see them found out at this stage of the season, and a paltry seven shots against Gas despite going behind at home after a minute causes some concern.
Hartlepool have won four of their last five away games, the last being an impressive 3-2 win at Newport County. A similar attacking performance would see them cause the hosts issues here and given Northampton’s struggles for goals they look plenty short enough to pick up three points here.
Battling Gills to get a result
Accrington v Gillingham
The appointment of Neil Harris looks like a masterstroke, with four clean sheets in Gills’ last six games lifting them out of the relegation zone for the time being. There is still plenty of work to be done to secure safety though, given they are sitting just one place above the drop having played a game more than AFC Wimbledon below them.
There is little incentive for Accrington here, whose manager John Coleman also deserves massive credit for having his side in such a safe position at the back-end of the season. A couple of 4-0 defeats in their last few games has hinted at some complacency at this stage, and the hosts look plenty short enough here to beat a side scrapping for their lives.