Wolves v West Ham- Can Hammers bounce back from Cup loss?

West Ham will look to end the month on a high when they travel to Molineux to take on Wolves in a midweek Premier League clash. Victory for the Hammers will see them leapfrog Nuno Espirito Santo’s men in the league table, with only a single point separating the two sides going into this GW24 fixture.

West Ham fell to a disappointing 2-0 defeat in their last league game against Bournemouth. With Marko Arnautovic not even named in the squad, the Hammers were forced to turn to Andy Carroll upfront and the lanky forward struggled to provide the same impact as the Austrian. Both goals came from counter attacks, with Callum Wilson’s brilliant volley putting the Cherries ahead and Joshua King wrapping up victory with a simple finish in stoppage time.

The loss was also West Ham’s first of the New Year, having drawn against Brighton and beaten Birmingham and Arsenal prior to this clash against Eddie Howe’s side. It also highlighted the Jekyll and Hyde nature of the club’s campaign this season- few would have expected them to go down at the Vitality Stadium after having put in an impressive performance the week before to see off Unai Emery’s Arsenal. Even fewer would’ve predicted their Cup humbling at the hands of Wimbledon over the weekend.

Wolves are seeking to do a league double over West Ham- they beat them 1-0 at the London Stadium earlier in the season. The referee for this game, David Coote, is one under whom Wolves have never lost a home league game. The solitary West Ham top flight game he’s refereed this season saw Manuel Pellegrini’s side slump to a 2-0 defeat to Burnley at Turf Moor. It probably explains why Wolves are favourites for this clash in several people’s eyes.

West Ham’s last league trip to Molineux was nearly a decade ago, back in October 2010. Wolves took the lead in that fixture through Matt Jarvis, but the Hammers went home with a point thanks to Mark Noble’s second half penalty. Noble is the only survivor from that game for the Hammers and is expected to be in midfield alongside Declan Rice on Tuesday evening.

Wolves come into this fixture on the back of a thrilling 4-3 win over Leicester. Diego Jota scored a hat trick against Claude Puel’s side, including a dramatic winner deep into second half stoppage time. They had to beat the Foxes without the suspended Willy Boly, who will serve the last of his three game ban against the Hammers.
Wolves v West Ham at Molineux on 30 January, 2018 (19.45 UK kick off)

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