Last updated & checked: 10/08/2021
West Ham United are looking for their first points of the season when they welcome Wolves to the London Stadium. It’s been a disastrous season so far for Manuel Pellegrini in his new job, with the Hammers suffering three successive defeats. The first was a 4-0 drubbing at Liverpool, which whilst understandable, the way the side defended was alarming. Another disappointing defeat to Bournemouth at home followed, before a 3-1 loss at Arsenal last time out. The one positive for West Ham was that they improved significantly at the Emirates last week.
As for Wolves, they have played well this season but don’t have the points their performances deserve. An entertaining 2-2 draw with Everton opened their season, before they somehow lost to Leicester in their only away game. After that, they deservedly earnt plaudits for the way they played against Manchester City last week, as they picked up a point in an entertaining clash.
West Ham United vs Wolverhampton Wanderers Prediction: West Ham United 2-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Even at this early stage of the season, this is a massive game for West Ham. They have a very difficult run of fixtures coming up and points at home to a newly-promoted side seem a must. Whilst Wolves are not really an ordinary promoted side, the Hammers will still expect to win.
However, they will not have it all their own way. Nuno Espirito Santo’s men are well-organised and have serious quality, particularly in midfield and the final third. The major issue is that they’ve conceded too many goals so far this season, but it has made them a good watch. We expect another entertaining game but the home advantage should ensure Pellegrini gets his first points and first win as a manager boss.
Our recommended tip: West Ham Win
Whilst we don’t think this will be an easy game for the Hammers, they’re poor start has been overstated. Sure, they’ve lost all three games but two of those have been away to Arsenal and Liverpool, sides most outside the top six will lose too. Therefore, the only major issue this season is the defeat to Bournemouth but that can happen. The performance against Arsenal was encouraging and they have real quality in the final third with Marko Arnautovic and Felipe Anderson. If those pair click then it should have enough to swing it in the hosts favour.
This will be the 62nd meeting between the sides and it’s a game that West Ham have had the better of over the years, winning 29 of the previous encounters. As well as that, they’re unbeaten in the past three games, including an FA Cup win at Upton Park two years ago. However, Wolves will take encouragement as one of their most memorable Premier League wins came against the Hammers when they won 3-1 away from home.
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Players to watch: Felipe Anderson & Joao Moutinho
The club-record £42m signing understandably arrived with big expectation but the early signs are positive. He clearly is a hugely talented player, capable of drifting past defenders, picking passes and is technically superb. Yet, with his price tag he needs to weigh in with goals and assists but it does look as though they’re coming. The side need him to step up and be the main man in what is a high-pressure game.
For the visitors, they will know if they control the game then the home fans could turn on their team and if they are to do that Moutinho will be crucial. The Portuguese international has settled well to English football, is quality on the ball and can pick a pass. They will need him to maintain those high standards if they’re to come through a tough clash without defeat.