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Orient looking forward to ‘different challenge’ against Benfica B

PUBLISHED: 13:00 12 July 2018

Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh on the touchline at Gateshead (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh on the touchline at Gateshead (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

Justin Edinburgh’s team will take on the Portuguese giants B team in Albufeira on Saturday evening

Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh is looking forward to seeing how his team cope with the challenge of taking on Benfica B on Saturday evening (7.30pm kick-off).

The O’s landed in the Algarve on Monday afternoon ahead of a six-day training camp in Portugal, which will finish with a friendly against the prestigious side.

While Orient will not be playing the Benfica first-team, the ‘B’ side ply their trade in the division below the Champions League regulars and have produced several talented youngsters over the years.

In the current Benfica B team is Ola John, who has played on loan at Wolverhampton Wanderers and Reading, plus former Arsenal forward Chris Willock and both could line up against the O’s this weekend in Albufeira.

Although it is a million miles away from what matches in the National League this season will be like, it will provide the squad with an unusual and worthwhile challenge.

“When you get the opportunity to go abroad and play one of their teams, you have to take it,” said Edinburgh.

“It will bring something different to what we have to come up against week in, week out, so tactically, physically and mentally it will be a different challenge for us, but we will look forward to it.”

After going toe-to-toe with Benfica B on Saturday, Orient will fly back to England on Sunday and get ready for their third pre-season game of the summer.

On Tuesday (July 17) they travel to National League South side East Thurrock United and another tough encounter can be expected at Rookery Hill in the 7.45pm clash.

The O’s will play three clubs from the division below in pre-season with games coming up against Concord Rangers (July 21) and St Albans City (July 24) and Orient’s head coach explained how each match is important.

Edinburgh added: “Everything we’ve done for this pre-season isn’t done willy-nilly. We have thought about it. The fixtures we have are ones which will be testing and realistic to what we can expect to face in the season.”

Orient were without Alex Lawless (hip), David Mooney (mouth) and new recruit Dale Gorman (ankle) for their 7-0 win at Harlow Town on Saturday.

Ex-Stevenage midfielder Gorman is still a couple of weeks away from full fitness, but both Lawless and Mooney will aim to be back shortly.

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