Wolverhampton Wanderers will be bidding to bounce back from Thursday’s last-gasp defeat at Arsenal when they travel to fellow top-four hopefuls West Ham United on Sunday afternoon.
The visitors are currently seventh in the Premier League table, two points behind sixth-placed West Ham, who have played one game more than their opponents this weekend.
West Ham are unbeaten in the Premier League since the 1-0 loss at Manchester United on January 22, but they have drawn their last two against Leicester City and Newcastle United, which has seen them lose vital ground in the battle for a top-four finish.
The Hammers are currently sixth in the table, four points behind fourth-placed Man United, while they are three behind fifth-placed Arsenal, who have two games in hand, so David Moyes’s side are not in a strong position to finish fourth, especially as Wolves and Tottenham Hotspur are also very much in the argument.
West Ham could easily find themselves down in eighth if they are unable to return to winning ways as soon as possible, so there is no downplaying the importance of this match, especially as it comes ahead of a trip to Anfield to take on Liverpool next weekend.
The Hammers have the seventh-best home record in the Premier League this season, picking up 21 points from their 13 matches, while Wolves have impressed on their travels, winning seven of their 13 fixtures, but the hosts will certainly be the fresher of the two teams heading into the contest.
Moyes’s side suffered a 1-0 defeat when they travelled to Molineux back in November, but West Ham ran out 4-0 winners in the corresponding match between the two sides last term.
Wolves, meanwhile, will enter the match off the back of a 2-1 loss at Arsenal on Thursday evening, which was a damaging result for the club considering the circumstances.
Indeed, Bruno Lage’s side took the lead at the Emirates Stadium in the 10th minute through Hwang Hee-chan, but Nicolas Pepe levelled the scores in the 82nd minute before an own goal from Jose Sa in the 95th minute handed the Gunners a huge three points in their bid to make the top four.
Wolves will be a wounded team this weekend, which makes them difficult opposition, and they have won five of their last seven in the Premier League, while the former Championship winners have been victorious in four of their last five away league fixtures, winning at Man United and Tottenham in the process.
Lage’s team are currently seventh in the table, six points behind fourth-placed Man United with a game in hand, while they would go above West Ham if they manage to triumph at London Stadium.
Man United and West Ham have European commitments, which could harm their top-four challenges, but Wolves, having been eliminated from the FA Cup, only have the Premier League to focus on, and it will be fascinating to see what they can achieve this term.
West Ham United Premier League form:
West Ham United form (all competitions):
Wolverhampton Wanderers Premier League form:
Wolverhampton Wanderers form (all competitions):
We say: West Ham United 1-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
West Ham will certainly be the fresher of the two sides, and it will be interesting to see whether Wolves can shake off what happened against Arsenal on Thursday. It would not be a surprise to see a home or an away win on Sunday afternoon, but we believe that a tight match will finish all square, which is a result that suits neither side at this stage of the campaign.