Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Prediction: West Ham vs Wolves

Verdict: Wolves win

Best Odds: 11/10

Bookmaker: Bet365

Hoping to extend on their European charge on a return to action this weekend, Wolves will make the trip to an empty London Stadium on Saturday evening.

West Ham

Starting with the hosts, hit with a devastating late defeat at Arsenal despite creating a string of opportunities prior to the break, West Ham make their return firmly at the heart of a relegation scrap. With only their goal difference keeping them outside the bottom-three and the mood around the London Stadium remaining incredibly fragile back in March, David Moyes’ men had previously lost three of their last four Premier League appearances. If the former Manchester United boss is to help his side extended on their top-flight status, then there is no doubt that the Hammers will be desperate to improve on their continued issues in East London. Throwing away a two-goal lead in the most dramatic of fashion against Brighton earlier in the year and also crashing out of the FA Cup at the hands of Championship outfit West Brom, Saturday’s hosts have landed just a pair of Premier League clean sheets at the London Stadium since September 22nd. Even more worrying for Moyes, his men make their return this weekend holding the third-worst top-flight home record of any side so far this season.

Team News

David Moyes will have Tomas Soucek available after he extended his loan deal from Slavia Prague for the remainder of the 2019/20 season.

The Hammers will also be able to welcome back Aaron Cresswell and Ryan Fredricks who have spent the break dealing with injury issues.

Wolves

As for the visitors, picking up what could be a crucial away goal at Olympiakos while on Europa League duties prior to the break, Wolves make their return this weekend still looking to mount a stunning top-four charge. Likely to still be boosted by what was a dramatic 3-2 win away at last year’s Champions League finalists Tottenham, Nuno Espírito Santo’s men were previously unbeaten in their last five Premier League appearances and it should also be noted that they hold a stellar record against Saturday’s hosts. Picking up a 2-0 win when they welcomed the Hammers to Molineux back in December, Wolves have won each of their last three meetings against the relegation scrappers, a run that also saw them land a 1-0 win at the London Stadium last season. If Santo’s side are to mark their return with what could be a crucial three points on Saturday, then Wolves’ Portuguese boss could be calling on Diogo Jota to carry on from where he left off prior to the break. Bagging a hat-trick against Espanyol in the Europa League back in February, the 23-year-old had previously recorded six goals in as many appearances.

Team News

Despite picking up yet another shoulder injury prior to the break, winger Adama Traore has made a full recovery and is set to start at the London Stadium.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Picking up a 2-0 win when the two sides faced off earlier in the season, Wolves have won each of their last three meetings against the Hammers.
  • West Ham have won just a pair of their last 13 matches at the London Stadium across all competitions and hold the third-worst home Premier League record of any side this season.
  • David Moyes’ men have also failed to record a single clean sheet across any format in their previous 10 appearances.
  • Wolves winger Diogo Jota had previously bagged six goals in as many appearances prior to the enforced break.
  • Six of Wolves’ last eight Premier League away contests have seen over 2.5 goals by the final whistle.

Conclusion

With their sights set on mounting a late top-four charge, there is no doubt that Wolves should see Saturday as a real chance to mark their return with what could be three crucial points. Continuing to show a string of issues prior to the break and still firmly at the heart of a relegation scrap, it is also hard to look past Wolves’ stellar record against the East London outfit. Picking up a 2-0 win when they welcome the Hammers to Molineux earlier in the season and winning each of their last three meetings against David Moyes’ strugglers, we’re backing an away victory at the London Stadium this weekend.

Verdict: Wolves win

Best Odds: 11/10

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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