After a disappointing 2-1 defeat at Whaddon Road, the Blues left their last league match empty handed. Now to head back to home soil for the 3rd match of 2024.
With a hectic festive period of back-to-back games and plenty of travelling on the road, John Moushino’s side have come out the other side having lost only 3 games so far this campaign, whilst still sitting top of the league.
Their next opponents are Leyton Orient.
Former midfielder Richie Wellens is at the helm for The O’s.
The 43-year-old began his career at Manchester United and went on to sign for Blackpool in 2000, then after 191 appearances and 16 goals scored he joined Oldham Athletic.
Wellens became an instant fans’ favourite when he moved to Doncaster Rovers in 2007, helping the club get promoted to the Championship for the first time in 50 years.
He also played for the likes of Leicester City and Shrewsbury Town, as well as non-league sides Salford City and Macclesfield Town.
Oldham Athletic welcomed Richie Wellens back as a first-team coach following his retirement but, after their relegation to League Two, Wellens parted ways with the club and took over the managerial role at Swindon Town.
In the 2020, Wellens won the League Two title with Swindon based on points per game as the season had been curtailed on account of the outbreak of COVID-19.
He then went on to manage League Two outfit Salford and, during his time there, beat Portsmouth 4-2 on penalties to secure victory in the delayed 2020 EFL Trophy Final at Wembley.
After a stint of 199 games in charge of Doncaster, Wellens was appointed head coach of Leyton Orient in March 2022 with The O’s then in League Two.
An unbeaten start to the season and a 100% record across September saw Wellens win the League Two Manager of the Month award for 2 consecutive months. He went on to steer the club to promotion, which was achieved in April 2023.
ONE TO WATCH
Dan Agyei is our one to keep tabs on this time around.
The winger and makeshift striker started his youth career at AFC Wimbledon and went on to sign for Burnley - During his time at Turf Moor, he went out on loan to Coventry City, Walsall and Blackpool.
Agyei joined Oxford United on a 3-year deal and, after 66 appearances and 8 goals, he moved on to Crewe Alexandra, where he made 55 appearances and became the club’s top goalscorer for the 2022/23 season after netting 16 league strikes.
In June of last year, the now 26-year-old signed for newly promoted Leyton Orient on a 2-year deal. He recently scored his first goal for The O’s in a 2-0 win at Cambridge United on New Year’s Day.
Agyei wears the number 7 shirt for the club.
Orient’s top goalscorer so far this campaign is Ruel Sotiriou.
The 23-year old started his career with Leyton Orient’s youth team and continued upwards with the club, making his first senior appearance in 2017.
Whilst at the club, Sotiriou has had loan spells at Heybridge Swifts, Leatherhead, Bishop’s Stortford, Chelmsford City, Hampton & Richmond and Dover Athletic.
Sotiriou also represented Cyprus at Under-19 and Under-21 levels.
Returning to Orient in 2019, he scored 6 goals in 8 matches to steer the club away from the relegation zone. Throughout his time with The O’s, the number 10 has so far made 156 professional appearances, scoring 33 goals.
So far this campaign, the striker has scored 6 goals.
After being promoted to League One last season, Orient currently sit comfortably in the middle of the pack in 12th - Neither fighting for a 2nd successive promotion or battling at the wrong end of the division either.
The side have 32 points out of a possible 75 so far this season and their last 5 games have returned 3 victories, 1 draw and 1 defeat.
Richie Wellens’ side were recently defeated in the 2nd Round of The FA Cup thanks a 1-0 loss away at Chesterfield, who of course dumped the Blues out in Round 1.
With the January transfer window now open, neither Orient or Pompey have announced any new signings.
So can the Blues pick themselves up after another defeat on the road and get back to winning ways in 2024?
Catch all of the unmissable action when Pompey Live returns with full coverage of this League One meeting at Fratton Park - It's Portsmouth vs Leyton Orient LIVE on 93.7 Express FM, DAB Digital Radio, Online & iFollow from 2 O'Clock on Saturday (January 13th) afternoon.