Wolves vs West Ham Prediction
Saturday 14th January 2023
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Wolves vs West Ham Prediction Match Overview
As part of this weekend’s Premier League predictions, following a brief interlude for the cup competitions we preview Wolves’ return to Premier League action with a match against West Ham at Molineux. In the cup break, they lost on penalties to Nottingham Forest in the quarter-final of the Carabao Cup. They also won themselves a replay with a creditable draw at Anfield in the FA Cup third round. Wolves are in a terrible position in the league, however. They currently lie second-bottom in the table with 14 points from 18 matches. They have picked up only eight points from their last ten games, scoring only eight goals in that period. Therefore, scoring is a massive problem for them. Wolves have only won two league games at home all season, against fellow strugglers Southampton and Nottingham Forest. Indeed, they have lost their last four at Molineux. Therefore, they are in desperate form and need something in this match, which constitutes a six-pointer.
Fellow strugglers West Ham have huge issues themselves. The Hammers managed to win away at Brentford to progress in the FA Cup. Their league form, though, is awful. In the last six matches, they have picked up a solitary point – away at Leeds in their previous game. They have scored four goals in that run, averaging less than a goal a game. This run is a microcosm of their season as a whole thus far, as they have only scored 15 goals in 18 games. Their away form is also dreadful, having lost five of the last seven on their travels and picking up only two points of that 21. These admittedly often included trips to big clubs, but it is still a poor return. Hence, something has to give in this match, as it is a poor team at home versus a poor side away.
Wolves vs West Ham Team News
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: B Traore, Chiquinho, Neto, Kalajdzic, Corbeanu
Might Not Play: Areola, Coufal, Cornet, Lanzini, Scamacca
Will Not Play: Zouma
Wolves (4-3-3): Sa; Bueno, Collins, Kilman, Semedo; Neves, Moutinho, Nunes; Podence, Costa, Hwang
West Ham (4-2-3-1): Fabianski; Cresswell, Dawson, Aguerd, Coufal; Soucek, Rice; Fornals, Paqueta, Bowen; Scamacca
Wolves vs West Ham Prediction Analysis
Midfield could be crucial in this match, as both teams are talented here. The all-Portuguese trio of Neves, Moutinho, and Nunes is a strong base from which Wolves can build. Indeed, Moutinho has been a quality midfielder for many years now, even if he is 36. Neves is in the prime of his career, keeps Wolves moving in the middle of the park, and is a threat from shots from range. Nunes’s signing has been positive, as he has provided more energy and technique in the middle of the park. He has the ability to change the speed of the game. These three will probably start and face Rice, Soucek, and Paqueta, who drops deep. Rice and Soucek have been good performers for West Ham for several years. However, like the Wolves three, they have underperformed at stages this season. Their efforts have yet to materialise in gaining many points. Whichever team can win the midfield battle will control the game and will have more chance of bringing their front players into the match. However, as generally happens in matches between relegation candidates, the team without the ball is often dangerous.
By ‘dangerous’ in the previous section, we mean that even if one team controls the game, the other can win the ball when the attacking team applies pressure. As both these teams struggle to score goals and create ample chances, there is a high likelihood that attacks on goal will break down. This situation allows the defending team to break into the spaces left in transition. It is often easier for lesser teams to find joy when more space is available on the counter-attack. Hence, the likes of Podence, Hwang, Guedes, and Adama Traore for Wolves will look to use their pace and trickery to come on to an exposed West Ham backline when spaces appear. Coufal and Cresswell must be mindful of their threat on the flanks. Likewise, while we don’t expect Lanzini to start due to injury issues, he could be a good impact sub. Therefore, he, Benrahma, Bowen, and Fornals can create dangerous positions against the Wolves defence when spaces appear for them. We envision a back-and-forth match where both teams know they must attack, but mistakes frequently cause moves to break down. Indeed, we see this as a match of errors. The likes of Costa, Jimenez, and Scamacca must be diligent and sharp as chances may appear, which they can take advantage of in a predatory fashion.
Problems in Scoring Goals
Despite the above, it is abundantly apparent that both these teams struggle to score goals. West Ham have only scored 15, and Wolves have a paltry 11 in the league so far this season. Much of the reason for this is the underperformance of both teams’ attackers. Podence and Neves are Wolves’ top scorers, and their four apiece have comprised the bulk of their 11 goals. Benrahma and Scamacca are West Ham’s joint-top scorers with three apiece. Therefore, it is clear that these teams desperately need a player or two to be able to rely on to be a consistent goal threat. The likes of Podence, Costa, Jimenez, Guedes, Neto, Lanzini, Bowen, Scamacca, and Benhrahma are quality players. However, far too many have underperformed or been hampered by injury this season. In this match, both teams must try to be more adventurous and improve their threat in the final third, or we could see a dull stalemate.
Beat the Bookmaker Wolves vs West Ham Prediction
Much like the other match between relegation candidates simultaneous to this one (Everton vs Southampton), this is a match between two teams who are seriously struggling right now. Julen Lopetegui is trying to turn Wolves around, but David Moyes has likely lost hope at West Ham. Wolves cannot win at home, and West Ham find it extremely difficult to win away. Therefore, we envisage a match between two sides bereft of confidence, which may well spill into the game’s quality. If it were the start of the season, the game would likely be higher quality, as there are good players on show. However, both teams are shot of self-esteem, and we see a cautious match where both teams know a win would be fantastic but that a defeat could prove disastrous. Hence, we see some chances being created (generally through mistakes and counters), but we believe this will be a stalemate. We were going to predict 1-1, but both teams often find scoring difficult, so 0-0 seems reasonably sensible.
Wolves 0-0 West Ham
Beat the Bookmaker Wolves vs West Ham Prediction – Draw Odds:
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