Leyton Orient are the visitors to ME7 on Tuesday as Gills begin their EFL Trophy campaign.
Gillingham v Leyton Orient
EFL Trophy Group Stage
Tuesday September 5
Dom Jefferies and Oli Hawkins will be unavailable for selection due to both players remaining side-lined through injury.
Having picked up a knock and being substituted against Grimsby, Tom Nichols’ fitness will be assessed by the coaching staff ahead of the game. Tim Dieng will also be monitored.
This midweek visit of Leyton Orient to Priestfield could potentially provide the setting for George Lapslie to make his return. Neil Harris may, however, opt in favour of giving the midfielder additional recovery time by delaying his return until the coming weekend.
The likes of Glenn Morris, Max Clark, Josh Chambers, Joe Gbode and Ronald Sithole could feature in the matchday squad.
As for Leyton Orient, Richie Wellens is likely to make several changes to the team that lost to Stevenage on Saturday. The Leyton Orient boss has stated he is taking the competition seriously this season.
Neil Harris: “The defeat at Grimsby on Saturday was unacceptable for me and a huge wake up call for this group of players, we need to take responsibility for that performance and come back with a strong mentality.
“The visit of Leyton Orient gives us the opportunity to perhaps rest a few players, or for other players to get some minutes and to find some form in front of goal.
“I’m a football fan, and what I like to see as a fan is the same as what I like to see as a manager, a team with fight, determination and that’s competitive.”
Richie Wellens: “It’s a competition that we want to do well in this year.
“I think we have got the squad to do it, now that everybody is starting to come back from injuries.
“We’ll be approaching it properly; we’ll make seven or eight changes because we have got players that are either on the bench or not in the squad and need game time.
“We’ll be taking it seriously, for sure.”
Our most recent encounter with Leyton Orient came at Priestfield, as The O’s visited us back in April this year for a midweek League 2 fixture.
After a spell of early pressure from the visitors, a flick on from the midfield put George Lapslie through on goal with only the keeper to beat. Sensing the danger, and in a moment of desperation, a high challenge from Omar Beckles was adjudged by the referee to have denied a clear goal scoring opportunity, earning the Orient defender a red card in the 14th minute. Alex MacDonald's strike from the subsequent free-kick, just outside the area, put the Gills in front.
In an even match up on the day, it wasn’t until the 76th minute that the Gills would seal the three points. After a handball in the opposition box, Gillingham were awarded a spot kick which Cheye Alexander coolly tucked into the bottom corner, handing us a 2-0 victory on the night.
After a short break following a floodlight failure, the result ensured promotion for Orient while Gills celebrated league survival.
Gillingham have met Leyton Orient on 73 occasions in all competitions, with the head-to-head split almost straight down the middle.
The O’s just about edge it, taking 28 wins against 27 for the Gills. There have been 18 draws between the two clubs in the past.
Tickets ahead of the game can be purchased via the below link:
Gillingham win - 5/4
Draw - 9/4
Leyton Orient win - 19/10
Special Bet: Gillingham to win and under 3.5 goals in the match – 9/4
Referee – Ben Atkinson
Assistants – Declan O'Shea and Alex Bradley
Fourth Official – Andrew Aylott