There is just no let up in West Ham United’s fixture programme at the moment!!! After securing top spot in UEFA Europa League Group A against German side SC Freiburg on Thursday night, the Hammers are back in Premier League action this afternoon with the visit of Wolverhampton Wanderers.
David Moyes’ men got back on track in Europe three days ago but they will be looking to completely bannish any lingering memories of the 5-0 defeat at Fulham a week ago and build momentum ahead of their upcoming Carabao Cup quarter-final tie against Liverpool in just three days time.
In the last two meetings between the sides, Wolves have been under new management and following the departure of Julen Lopetegui six days before their season began, the club’s hierarchy moved quickly to appoint former Irons’ midfielder Gary O’Neill as Head-Coach.
The visitors have taken four points from their last two games and will be the fresher of the two sides going into this game, as they have had a full week to prepare, two days more than the East Londoners!!!
After he was unavailable for the reverse at Craven Cottage owing to a virus, Edson Álvarez was back in the starting line-up on Thursday but he may be missing again here, after sustaining a hip injury during the first-half of the 2-0 victory. Pablo Fornals was his replacement on that occasion and the Spaniard could be handed a second consecutive top-flight start if the Mexican doesn’t make the matchday squad.
Alphonse Areola was back on the bench in the week and he should be fit enough to replace Łukasz Fabiański in goal, while Emmerson Palmieri was also restored to the starting line-up after fully recovering from a virus and he will be hoping to retain his place.
O’Neill isn’t the only former West Ham man to make a return to East London today, as defender Craig Dawson is likely to face the club he left during the January transfer window.
The match is a 2pm kick-off and live coverage will be screened by Sky Sports from 1pm. The referee is Christopher Kavanagh.