West Ham face dangerous Wolves without Covid-hit manager Moyes
Wolves to win 1-0
Warm wishes go to West Ham manager David Moyes this week, who has contracted coronavirus and will manage The Hammers from home, copying most of the population at present.
They will also miss Issa Diop and Josh Cullen, who both tested positive at the same time and will likely miss the next couple of matches. More bad news for West Ham, who are sitting in 16th place without a point to their name.
Wolves continue to go from strength to strength as a club, making more signings in the past week, despite their loss to Man City last weekend.
Their players are in good form and you feel another top four push is on the cards this season if they continue in the same fashion.
Missing manager side, West Ham will struggle to contain this powerful Wolves side.
Predicted 2020/21 finish: 16th
Reasons to be cheerful:
Captain Mark Noble is returning to fitness after injury
Were decent in spells against Arsenal last weekend
Reasons to be fearful:
Going into the match without their manager
Lost four successive league games to Wolves without scoring
It’s tricky enough trying to get a result out of Wolves these days, even with a fully fit squad. Without a manager and two players, it’ll be doubly difficult as West Ham are the latest to feel the force of Covid-19.
They are probably better than their two defeats suggest and would have had a point if they had held on against Arsenal, conceding in the 85th minute.
Striker Antonio again looks ready to lead the line this season, and is always a threat up front, particularly from crosses into the box.
But Wolves are so powerful and have added even more pace to their side through the signing of Semedo from Barcelona. Keeping him and Adama Traore quiet down their right hand side will prove challenging.
West Ham will need to be a lot better to get something out of this game.
Star Man – Michail Antonio
His equaliser looked to have earned a point against Arsenal until late on. His goals are vital to West Ham’s chances.
Predicted 2020/21 finish: 7th
Reasons to be cheerful
Team full of quality
Could have had a point against Man City
Reasons to be fearful
Have lost four of last eight matches
Look a little light in forward areas
Wolves are certainly not a team to rest of their laurels, even off the back of a terrific campaign last season which saw them finish 7th.
They’ve gone out and strengthened wisely in the transfer market, particularly at full-back with Marcal from Lyon and this week Semedo from Barcelona.
They have pace and power all over the pitch which will cause many teams trouble this season.
One area they do look a little light in, however, is up front.
With the departure of Jota to Liverpool, Raul Jimenez is the sole out-and-out striker at the club. Currently, he’s scoring goals with great regularity, but they he need some backup throughout the season.
For now, though, they should be too strong for West Ham, who face not having their manager leading them on the touchline.
Star Man – Raul Jimenez
Two goals in two games for the Mexican proves he has carried over his great form from last season.
Wolves’ intensity will force West Ham backwards
West Ham will have few chances, but must take them
Wolves likely to have too much for The Hammers
It’ll be a tight game – West Ham have improved since their first defeat of the season and could have taken something from their second against Arsenal.
Defending well and breaking out quickly when they have the chance is likely to be their game plan, bringing Antonio into the game as much as possible with quality balls into the box.
But Wolves are a different beast these days and are a team who always play with great intensity, making it difficult to play against.
If they work the ball into the right areas, getting the ball into Jimenez, they should have too much for The Hammers.
Wolves to win 1-0