Friday, January 24, 2020

Prediction: West Ham vs Wolves

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 4/6

Bookmaker: Bet365

Still desperately looking for their first point of the new season, Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham side will welcome a Wolves outfit high on confidence to the London Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

West Ham

Starting with Pellegrini’s side, although The Hammers broke the bank during the summer transfer window and brought in a former Premier League-winning boss, West Ham have struggled at the start of the new season. Losing three on the bounce against Liverpool, Bournemouth and Arsenal, they’re the only team still sat on 0 points. However, after fighting back against lower-league AFC Wimbledon and booking their spot in the third round of the League Cup in midweek, Pellegrini will be hoping this is a turn in their fortunes. Although they are still without a point, there has been some positives in the past week. Most notable has been summer signing Felippe Anderson, putting in an eye-catching performance last week at the Emirates, the former Lazio man has two assists in two. With last years top scorer Marko Arnautovic also bagging two in his last two, West Ham will fancy their chances of creating plenty in the final third.

Team News

West Ham forward Marko Arnautovic has recovered from the knee injury he suffered during the defeat at Arsenal last Saturday.

Captain Mark Noble is available after a back problem but Andy Carroll, Manuel Lanzini and Winston Reid remain out.

Wolves

After running away with the Championship last season and heavily investing in their squad this summer, many had Wolves tipped as a potential dark horse. Coming off the back of a 2-0 win at Sheffield Wednesday in the cup, there certainly is an air of optimism around Molineux. While they may still be looking for their first win on their return to the Premier League, Wolves are coming off the back of a very impressive 1-1 draw with defending Champions. Having the second most shots at City’s goal over the past 18 months, Nuno Espírito Santo’s side is gaining plenty of plaudits. One man to watch for the visitors will be last years Championship Player of the Season Ruben Neves. Scoring one and getting one assist already, the former Porto man is former an eye-catching partnership with Joao Moutinho.

Team News

Wolves could be unchanged for the fourth successive league game.

Club record signing Adama Traore made his first start in the midweek Carabao Cup win at Sheffield Wednesday, while Ivan Cavaleiro is the only absentee.

Key Factors to Consider

  • West Ham have lost their last two home Premier League games against promoted sides, vs Brighton (0-3) and Newcastle (2-3) last season. They’ve never lost three such games in a row in the competition.
  • Wolves haven’t won any of their last eight Premier League games when they’ve scored first (D2 L6) including in their last match against Man City.
  • West Ham forward Marko Arnautovic has had a hand in 14 Premier League goals in 2018 (8 goals, 6 assists), eight more than any other Hammers player.
  • Wolves recorded the Championship’s highest shot conversion rate of 13.5% last season but they have only converted three of their 31 attempts on goal in 2018-19, scoring just once from open play.
  • The Hammers have only once lost their opening four league matches of a season, in 2010-11 under Avram Grant.

Conclusion

Although both Pellegrini and Espírito Santo’s sides are still looking for their first win, there have been some recent positives. Even though neither side has recorded a Premier League clean sheet at the start of the year, they have been creating plenty of chances in the final third. Two sides who promise an attacking style, we believe backing both teams to score seems like the most logical bet for the London Stadium on Saturday.

Verdict: Both teams to score 

Best Odds: 4/6

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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