The halt to the Premier League season couldn’t have come at a worse time for Wolves as Nuno Espirito Santo’s men were unbeaten in their last five domestic games. The highlight of that run was their remarkable win away to Spurs, when they came from behind twice to triumph, while they were full value for their draw in Old Trafford in early February too.
Since the turn of the year, they’ve only been beaten by Liverpool and Watford in the league and they head to the Olympic Stadium on Saturday evening having won the corresponding fixture last season courtesy of an Adama Traore goal. All in all, Wolves have beaten West Ham in their last three clashes, home and away, and haven’t conceded a goal in the process.
So, without further ado, here’s what could be in store this time around…
When the Hammers beat Southampton in late February, it ended an eight-game winless run for David Moyes’ men. Following that match, they went to the Emirates Stadium and were unlucky not to come away with a draw where they had 12 shots on goal compared to Arsenal’s five. In fact, it’s probably safe to say West Ham will find the net in this Saturday showdown as only Man City and Liverpool have prevented them from scoring at the Olympic Stadium this season.
That’s 12/14 home games in which West Ham have found the back of the net since August, which is an impressive and perhaps surprising statistic. So, combined with Wolves’ fine recent record against the Hammers, both teams to score looks near banker material.
In trying to predict a winner here, you have to look at West Ham’s home form and simply, it hasn’t been good enough. Yes, they are generally good for a goal but with just four home wins since the start of the season, it’s hard to see them winning against a well organised Wolves side. They’ve only beaten Bournemouth and Southampton, two teams who have been struggling, since the turn of the year.
On their three trips to London so far this season Wolves are unbeaten, while they’ve also won away at Man City and drawn at Old Trafford. That makes them a good bet to get the three points here, especially given their fine form before the break. And as West Ham are likely to score, Wolves to win and both teams to score looks excellent value.
If both Raul Jimenez and Adama Traore start up front like they did against Spurs, that is sure to have West Ham under the cosh from an early stage. Jimenez is Wolves’ top scorer in all competitions with a stunning 22 goals in 45 starts, which has a ratio of almost a goal in every second game, and he scored a brace when Wolves beat West Ham 3-0 last season at Molineux.
Also, 13 of those goals this campaign have come in the league. With Diogo Jota and Traore, who have 13 goals and 6 goals respectively, Wolves have so much firepower going forward and Matt Doherty is very much part of that threat too. He’s scored eight goals already this season and two of those came just before the break against Espanyol and Spurs. He regularly gets forward so based on that, along with the fact that he’s arguably one of Wolves’ most influential players, he’s worth a punt to continue his scoring streak on Saturday evening.
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