Stoke City head into their FA Cup third round tie with Leyton Orient looking to bounce back from successive defeats in the Championship.
While the Potters occupy eighth position in the second tier, the visitors are 10th in League Two, a consequence of suffering back-to-back losses of their own
Despite a 19-day break for coronavirus-related reasons, Stoke boss Michael O’Neill would have been confident of getting back on track with home fixtures against Derby County and Preston North End.
However, successive 2-1 defeats have left the Potters five points adrift of the playoffs and O’Neill coming under pressure to keep his position in the dugout.
Although Stoke have still recorded 14 points from their last 10 games, supporters will point to four wins and seven defeats being posted in 13 games.
Possessing matches in hand, Stoke are still in contention for promotion back to the Premier League, but their upcoming run of fixtures may prove pivotal.
Leyton Orient have endured their own frustrating period with Sunday’s game due to end a 22-day break from competitive action.
Kenny Jackett’s team have also lost three of their last four outings in League Two, leaving the club four points adrift of the playoff places.
You also have to go all the way back to October 5 for their last success on the road, a period spanning six games.
Dominant victories over Tranmere Rovers, in this competition, and Swindon Town at the start of December are still fresh in the memory, but Jackett remains under pressure to turn more draws into victories.
These two sides have never met in the FA Cup, their only meeting in any competition since 1993 coming in the EFL Cup in 2009