West Ham United vs Wolverhampton Wanderers
A battle of two underperforming Premier League sides unfolds at London Stadium as West Ham United and Wolverhampton Wanderers face off against each other.
West Ham’s sub-par three-game sequence in the Premier League (W1, D1, L1), bookended by a humiliating 5-0 defeat at Fulham last weekend, left them stranded in mid-table at the start of this round. With fourth-placed Manchester City a whopping nine points clear, the ‘Hammers’ face an uphill task of reigniting their stuttering top-four pursuit as the pressure mounts on manager David Moyes. He can at least find inspiration in West Ham’s 2-0 home win against Freiburg in midweek Europa League action, which helped them lock down a last-16 berth as Group A winners. The London Stadium has recently been a source of strength for the hosts as they’ve claimed four wins in their last five competitive home outings (D1), netting 2+ goals on three occasions.
In the meantime, Wolverhampton failed to build on a narrow 1-0 home triumph over promoted Burnley as Nottingham Forest forced them to settle for a 1-1 draw last weekend, leaving Gary O’Neil’s side at the halfway point between relegation territory and European spots. After bagging 2+ goals in four of their five league games between late October and mid-November, Wolves have revived old habits, scoring just twice in their last two Premier League outings. That’s an alarming sign, considering their three most recent top-flight visits to West Ham have yielded defeats ‘to nil.’ O’Neil’s attacking set-up often sparks to life after the break as the vast majority (89%) of Wolves’ away league goals scored this season have come in the second half of play (8/9), requiring patience from the traveling fans.