West Ham United vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers
The two clubs nearest the relegation zone enter a match with different senses of optimism. Of the two teams only Wolves were able to get anything from their weekend fixture. Wolverhampton won in their local derby at Villa Park for over 45 minutes until Carew scored for Aston Villa, stealing two points from the away side. This can still be considered a success and the Wolves will try to duplicate their effort on Tuesday at Upton Park. West Ham’s derby match against Arsenal was predictably one-sided. Denilson scored in the 5′ and was left unanswered until Fabregas put the result beyond doubt with a penalty kick in the 83′. This marks the 4th straight Premier League defeat for the Hammers, who conceded 11 goals in that time.
In the past few games both teams faced Manchester United and Chelsea. Surprisingly, it is the Wolves who handled the pressure of the top class sides with more grace. While West Ham were pounded 3-0 and 4-1, Wolverhampton lost to Chelsea 2-0 and nearly held out against Manchester United before Paul Scholes scored a late goal that clinched 3 points for the current league leaders.
West Ham United vs Wolverhampton Wanderers
Tuesday, March 23, 2010 – 9:00 PM (CET)
32nd match day
Upton Park – London
Possible starting XIs:
West Ham United: Green, Spector, Tomkins, Upson, Daprela, Diamanti, Kovac, Behrami, Stanislas, Mido, Franco.
Wolverhampton: Hahnemann, Zubar, Craddock, Berra, Ward, Guedioura, Henry, Jones, Foley, Jarvis, Doyle.
17 West Ham United: Overall: 6-9-15, Home: 5-4-5, Away: 1-5-10, GD: -14
16 Wolverhampton Wanderers: Overall: 7-7-16, Home: 4-3-8, Away: 3-4-8, GD: -24
Head-to-Head in EPL:
15-08-2009 Wolverhampton – West Ham 0-2
15-01-2005 Wolverhampton – West Ham 4-2
02-10-2004 West Ham – Wolverhampton 1-0
10-03-1984 West Ham – Wolverhampton 1-1
12-11-1983 Wolverhampton – West Ham 0-3
West Ham won the first fixture at Molineux and will try to repeat that performance when Wolves come to town. This matchup is in essence a 6-point fixture and neither manager will be overly zealous in the attack. A win here for either team would be momentous in their fight to stay above water. Neither teams’ record is very strong, so a winner is hard to predict. However, expect both managers to play a cautious match in which defense will be king.
Prediction: Under 2.5 Goals
Best Odds: 1.85 @ Bet365 Sportsbook .