Defensive concerns for Orient ahead of Preston clash

Orient captain Nathan Clarke is a doubt for the game against Preston (Pic: Simon O'Connor)

Orient captain Nathan Clarke is a doubt for the game against Preston (Pic: Simon O'Connor) - Credit: Archant

Orient head in to today’s clash with Preston North End sweating on the fitness of captain Nathan Clarke.

The defender missed the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy defeat to Stevenage on Tuesday with back spasms suffered in the FA Cup win against Southport three days previously.

O’s boss Russell Slade says he is 50/50 to feature at Brisbane Road.

Fellow centre back Mathieu Baudry is likely to miss out with an ongoing leg injury but new signing Robbie Simpson hopes to be included in the squad after making his debut at the Lamex Stadium on Tuesday.

Preston, who trail the O’s by 11 points in the League One table, have striker Iain Hume available after the Canadian pulled out of international duty.

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If Clarke is fit, he could come face to face with his younger brother Tom. The pair spent seven years together at Huddersfield after both coming through the club’s academy.

Tom Clarke also played 12 games for Orient during a loan spell in the 2011/12 season. a

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Australian midfielder Neil Kilkenny joined the Lilywhites on loan from Bristol City on Thursday and could feature.

Preston include one-time England striker Kevin Davies in their ranks and are on a run of give games unbeaten in all competitions.

Orient’s only defeat at home this season was an extra time loss to Premier League Hull City in the Capital One Cup back in August.

Their League one record at Brisbane Road reads won six drawn one from their first seven games, and Slade will be hoping his players can continue an unbeaten home league record that stretches back to February 23 - a 1-0 loss to Crawley.

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