Team News: Leyton Orient vs Ebbsfleet United in the National League

Sam Ling in action for Dagenham & Redbridge (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo).

Sam Ling in action for Dagenham & Redbridge (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo). - Credit: David Simpson/TGS Photo

After appearing on the bench at Brisbane Road for the first time on December 7 2013, Sam Ling could finally make his home debut for O’s today

Sam Ling is set to make his long-awaited home debut for Leyton Orient this afternoon when Ebbsfleet United visit Brisbane Road in the National League.

The defender, the son of O’s director of football Martin, was cup-tied for Tuesday’s FA Trophy quarter-final replay at Gateshead and so had to sit out the 3-2 defeat.

But after starting for Orient during the 1-0 loss at Dover Athletic last Saturday, he is set to start again later today at Brisbane Road and it will be a long time coming.

Ling left the E10 outfit in the summer of 2016 to earn more first-team opportunities and shone at Dagenham & Redbridge, in particular during the first-half of this season, to alert his services to several Football League and National League sides.

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Orient were the club to snap up the right-back on February 7 for an undisclosed fee, but the 21-year-old’s appearances have been limited due to O’s participation in the FA Trophy.

He did make his debut on February 20 at Chester before starting his first-ever match for the east Londoners last weekend at Dover and the next big achievement for Ling will be to play for the home side at Brisbane Road.

Ling did pull on an Orient shirt in E10 during the summer of 2015 for a charity match in aid of Prostate Cancer UK, but this is the moment he has been waiting for.

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After numerous unused substitute appearances in the 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16 seasons, it seems today will be a proud occasion for the Ling family.

Elsewhere, Dan Holman will return to the matchday squad, but may have to be content with a place on the bench after David Mooney’s goal at Gateshead.

Justin Edinburgh will also have Marvin Ekpiteta and Nathan Mavila available after the disappointment of Tuesday, but Alex Lawless has picked up a hip injury and will remain unavailable.

Craig Clay should return though, after he was suffering with illness at the International Stadium, but Jobi McAnuff’s ongoing injury problems don’t appear to be coming to an end any time soon.

The experienced winger was set to see a specialist on February 25, but Orient are still waiting for him to return to full fitness.

George Elokobi has been absent of late as well, with a hamstring problem and some illness, but he is training again and could be part of the squad.

After a three-game winless run, Orient will be looking to get back to winning ways later today, but Ebbsfleet, managed by former O’s midfielder Daryl McMahon, are pushing for the play-offs and will provide a tough test.

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