League One preview: Sheffield United to buckle against Leyton Orient


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The Independent Football

Sheffield United were given a good going-over by a bruising Hartlepool side in midweek and Leyton Orient can benefit from the knock-on effects by beating the battle-weary Blades at Brisbane Road on Saturday. Take the 5/2 about the Londoners prevailing.

Danny Wilson's men underlined their promotion credentials by coming through the challenge on Teesside with a barely-deserved last-minute winner, but it was a tough examination in testing conditions and we suspect there will be repercussions in the capital after several players picked up knocks at Victoria Park.

It was a result that pushed the Blades into the top six with 18 points from ten matches, the first marker that many take seriously as an indicator of how the season might unfold. It's a decent start but United have been in second gear for most of it and they will have to find something extra if they are to justify skinny odds of 5/4 about the away win.

Orient aren't the most reliable proposition for punters but they approach this game in decent shape having won four of their last six matches following Tuesday's impressive victory at Walsall. The O's expect to improve on last season's efforts when they very nearly got sucked into the relegation battle and the early signs are promising as they sit 12th with a zero goal difference.

Home form will be key to maintaining those standards. In the two full seasons that Russell Slade has been at the helm, the away record has been consistent mid-table fare but the O's gathered 18 points fewer in their own backyard last term compared with the previous campaign, which accounted for them plummeting 13 places.

Meanwhile, Joe Dunne has made an impressive start as Colchester boss and we're backing the Irishman to guide his new troops to a third successive victory at Yeovil. The away win can be backed at 21/10 in Somerset.

Dunne's promotion from assistant manager to the top job following the dismissal of John Ward was interesting insomuch that chairman Robbie Cowling acted so swiftly on the matter, which suggests the new man has some big ideas about how to drive the club forward.

Possessed with as much inside knowledge as any new incumbent could possibly wish to have, his first mission was to venture into the loan market and recruit three new faces with Jabo Ibehre, Craig Eastmond and Sanchez Watt shaking things up and putting everyone else in the dressing room on their toes.

Victory over Hartlepool followed but it was a terrific 1-0 win at Swindon in midweek that really caught the eye, demonstrating Dunne's tactical prowess as the U's broke up the play to create a game of few chances. Normally, such a big result would prompt a sense of unease about the next outing but the outlook seems dire for Yeovil at the moment.

The Glovers have lost six on the spin and manager Gary Johnson pleading for patience with a promise to weed out the individuals who aren't putting in performances up to scratch. The prices are probably about right in broader terms but present circumstances dictate that the value is with Colchester.

Betting advice...

1pt Leyton Orient to beat Sheff Utd at 5/2 (Boylesports)

Blades were given a tough examination in midweek and O's can pounce on fatigue.

1pt Colchester to beat Yeovil at 21/10 (Betfred)

U's are back in business with Joe Dunne and look value to notch a third straight win.

For more betting advice, visit Best of the Bets by clicking here.