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EFL League Two Weekend Preview: Orient look to run away with lead

The winter weather has taken its toll on the League Two schedule this weekend, with just four matches surviving the cold snap, but leaders Leyton Orient are in action as they welcome Sutton United to Brisbane Road.

It has been a phenomenal campaign so far for Richie Wellens' pacesetters, who only managed a mid-table finish last year, but a resolute defence and clinical goalscoring means they are guaranteed to be top dogs on Christmas Day.

They face a Sutton United side that are stuck in mid-table themselves, while a potential play-off battle takes place in Cumbria with fourth-placed Barrow hosting Swindon Town in eighth.

Orient look to reach half-century of points

What: Leyton Orient v Sutton Utd
Where: Brisbane Road
When: 15:00, Saturday 17th December
How to watch: iFollow
Odds: Leyton Orient 10/11, Draw 12/5, Sutton Utd 10/3

Even though Leyton Orient were predicted to have a better season than last year, not many would have expected them to perform at the levels they have been doing.

Wellens, looking to prove a point as manager following disappointing stints with Salford and Doncaster Rovers, has certainly created a team that look more than ready for promotion.

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They have the second-best attack in the league - one goal shy of Northampton Town who sit third - as well as the best defensive record, a combination which is always likely to lead to good results.

If their form is maintained for the rest of the season, then they will be easily on track to earn over 100 points and could even break Reading's 16-year EFL record at 106.

Sutton may therefore be approaching this game with a sense of foreboding, though Matt Gray's men have at least picked up seven points from their last three games.

However, the O's have lost just twice all season with only one of those defeats being on their own turf.

Stuttering Robins head north to Barrow

What: Barrow v Swindon Town
Where: Holker Street
When: 15:00, Saturday 17th December
How to watch: iFollow
Odds: Barrow 7/5, Draw 13/5, Swindon 7/4

Fourth takes on eighth at Holker Street where Barrow meet Swindon Town, with the home side having been one of the overachievers this season after narrowly avoiding the drop last time.

Pete Wild's men have not played for a fortnight after their Cumbrian derby at Carlisle United was postponed last week and they will be eager to get back to winning ways after being humbled 5-0 by Stevenage in their last game.

Swindon might prove to be good opponents with Scott Lindsey's men winless in their last four games in League Two.

The Robins reached the play-off semi-finals last season and are having a good campaign despite losing some of their best players over the summer, but they do need to get back to winning games again.

Bantams looking to capitalise

What: Bradford v Rochdale
Where: University of Bradford Stadium
When: 15:00, Saturday 17th December
How to watch: iFollow
Odds: Bradford 4/5, Draw 13/5, Rochdale 7/2

With only two of the top six in action on Saturday, seventh-place Bradford will be looking to capitalise and they can move to within three points of the automatic promotion positions with victory at home to Rochdale.

Mark Hughes’ side could arguably already be in the top three if it wasn’t for their poor home record, as their last win at the University of Bradford Stadium came some three months ago.

That poor home run will give visitors Rochdale some hope, but Jim Bentley’s strugglers are not exactly in form after losing their last three, a sequence that leaves them just a point above the relegation zone.

Dale’s last away win was at Newport in early October, but will it be their record on the road that improves this weekend, or will Bradford have an overdue victory to celebrate in front of their own fans?

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