Form Prior To The Break
You cannot fail to be impressed with Nuno Espirito Santo after getting Wolves into the Europa League following promotion from the Championship.
Meanwhile, his side have backed that performance up with another excellent season flying high in the European places yet again, as well as currently playing out a last-16 clash against Olympiakos.
The same can’t be said for West Ham as they’re currently enduring one of their worst seasons since being promoted back to Premier League for the 2012/13 campaign.
Indeed, David Moyes looked to have brought a much-needed energy to camp back in December following the sacking of Manuel Pellegrini, but after a 4-0 win in his first game they soon tailed off to lose six of their subsequent nine outings.
However, each of those defeats came against top-half sides as they’ve gone W2-D2-L0 against teams outside that bracket under new management.
Furthermore, only Jurgen Klopp’s charges have been able to topple them in the league at the London Stadium from five such matches with Moyes in charge, as they beat both Bournemouth and Southampton, so they should at least put up some resistance.
West Ham To Win The First Half
Unfortunately for the home fans, Wolves are one of the teams higher up the table, not to mention the fact that only Liverpool have lost fewer outings than them this term.
What’s more, a break in the season has to play into the visitors’ hands with the demands of playing in both Europe and domestically appearing to have tired their out their thin squad, but we are slightly worried by some of the first-half performances they’ve put on display.
Indeed, only once from their last 14 have they been ahead at the break, as well as just one of 14 trips this term, whilst they’ve lost five of their last six winless first halves on the road.
HT/FT – West Ham/Wolves
By contrast, the Hammers have won the opening 45 minutes on home turf in seven of their 11 matches when excluding the runaway top three, doing so against the likes of Man Utd, Sheffield Utd and Arsenal.
Four those first-half victories came by an exact 1-0 scoreline, while that has been the case in nine of Wolves’ last 11 opening half defeats.
The potential absence of Angelo Ogbonna is a slight worry for the hosts with the Italian proving his worth at the back this term.
They’ve conceded more than an extra goal per game on average in his absence this term, an increase of 86.7% as they lost four of five winless matches.
With that in mind, we’ll have a bet at a huge price for this game to be flipped on its head after the first 45 and the visitors to take the honours for the fourth time in a row.