The Premier League is back and West Ham United are back as they continue their relegation dog-fight against a Wolves side battling for a European spot.
It has been a poor few seasons for West Ham United since their move to the London Stadium and none have been worse than this season. The departure of Manuel Pellegrini and the return of David Moyes has made it a far from enjoyable period for the West Ham faithful. For Wolves they are chasing back to back finishes in the top half of the table as they look for a place in next year’s European competitions.
The Hammers have had mixed results this season, with the highlight of their season defeating Manchester United 2-0 thanks to goals from Andriy Yarmolenko and a brilliant free kick courtesy of left back Aaron Cresswell.
Wolves have dipped down in terms of the fluid style of football they played last season after being promoted from the Championship. Despite being an attacking team, Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have an average defensive record conceding 34 goals so far this season at an average of 1.17 goals per game. Their home and away record is almost equal with 22 points gained at home and 21 points gained away.
Things are a lot different at the London Stadium though, the Irons have struggled defensively and in attack. They have scored just 35 goals this season with summer signing Sebastian Haller scoring seven of them. When it comes to their defence they have conceded 50 goals, something which needs to be drastically reduced.
Off the pitch West Ham have faced controversy with details surrounding young right-back Jeremey Ngakia’s contract being leaked, with the 18 year-old speculated to have refused a new deal. The refusal of a new contract has come as a surprise to West Ham fans, with the full-back’s current contract coming to an end on June 30th, the Irons defensive options could be limited.
Under Moyes, the Hammers have shown more passion going forward having previously shifted formations. The signing of Tomas Soucek from Slavia Prague and Jarrod Bowen from Hull City in January have made improvements with the Irons best performance since the start of the year coming against Premier League champions-elect Liverpool.
When it comes to formations, Wolves elect to play with Doherty and Jonny as wing backs with both being able to switch to fullbacks when possible. Adama Traore has been the standout star for the East Midlands club this season and his pace could be the undoing of West Ham..
When it comes to team news, an early indication has been that Declan Rice could possibly move to centre back from his usually midfield position. Italian centre back Angelo Ogbonna could also feature despite missing the two friendly games against QPR and Crystal Palace.
Wolves to win & Under 2.5 goals – 10/3