Will the West Ham misery continue when they host Wolves at the London Stadium? West Ham have lost all three of their league games, starting with a 3-1 loss against Arsenal. Meanwhile, Wolves come into the game having drawn two of their first three games, including a 1-1 against Manchester City.
West Ham’s Misery to Continue at Wolves?
With the arrival of Manuel Pellegrini, the West Ham board gave the Chilean funds to spend in the summer market. West Ham invested heavily with the big money arrivals of Issa Diop, Andriy Yarmolenko and Felipe Anderson, spending £93.4 million. After failing to grab a point so far this season, you can see why the Hammers are desperate to turn their fortunes around.
Wolves, on the other hand, despite not grabbing a win so far this season, will be happy with how their season has gone so far with two draws in three games. They gave as good as they got in all three games, holding defending champions Manchester City to a well-deserved draw last time out. Wolves could easily have beat Leicester, hitting the woodwork three times but eventually losing 2-0.
Three Key Battles
Fabian Balbuena v Raul Jiminez
Fabian Balbuena has averaged 2.7 interceptions and seven clearances a game so far but he will be in for a tough afternoon trying to stop Wolves striker Raul Jimenez. Jimenez has averaged 2.3 shots per game this season, scoring once, and had one ruled out for offside against City.
Jack Wilshere v Ruben Neves
This has the potential to be a great midfield battle. Jack Wilshere will be hoping his injury problems are behind him and he has played the full 90 minutes in all three games so far, averaging 43.3 passes per game with a success rate of 86.2%. Neves, on the other hand, has been ever present in the Wolves squad since his arrival last summer. He’s picked up this season where he finished last by averaging 67 passes per game with a success rate of 84.1%, bagging one goal and one assist.
Marko Arnautovic v Ryan Bennett
Marko Arnautovic is West Ham’s only real goal-scorer, striking two goals in three games. He will have a tough task on his hands in the form of Wolves defender Ryan Bennett. Many consider Bennett as a surprise package this season with some thinking he would be a weak link in the defence. The defender has held his own, averaging two tackles a game with six clearances per game.
Did You Know?
Three of the seven teenagers to play in the Premier League this season have come from either West Ham (Declan Rice) or Wolves (Morgan Gibbs-White and Ruben Vinagre).
West Ham have lost their last two home Premier League matches against promoted sides. Having been defeated by Brighton (3-0) and Newcastle (3-2) last season. But they have never lost three such contests in a row in the competition.
Marko Arnautovic has scored the first goal in West Ham’s last two Premier League matches but has lost both of them. Only three players have ever scored the first goal in three successive Premier League matches without winning any. John Spencer for Chelsea in 1996, Michel Ngonge for Watford in 1999 and Steven Fletcher for Sunderland in 2012.
With no new injuries for Nuno to deal with, he could name an unchanged side for the fourth game in a row. With he has nearly a full squad to pick from. Leander Dendoncker and Adama Traore are making a push to start against West Ham; both played the full 90 minutes in the Carabao Cup midweek. Also making their senior debuts were Elliot Watt, Pedro Goncalves and Ben Ashley-Seal.
West Ham (4-2-3-1): Fabianski, Fredericks, Balbuena, Ogbonna, Masuaku, Noble, Rice, Antonio, Wilshere, Anderson, Arnautovic.
Wolves (3-4-3): Patricio, Bennett, Coady, Boly, Doherty, Moutinho, Neves, Jonny, Costa, Jimenez, Jota.
It will be a tricky game with expectation for Wolves to grab there first win. With West Ham conceding nine goals in three games, chances will be there for Wolves if they can take them.
Prediction: West Ham 0-2 Wolves