Wolverhampton Wanderers (10-6-13, 43 points, 7th place) vs. West Ham United (7-16-6, 27 points)
When: Saturday, June 20, 12:15 p.m.
Where: London Stadium, London
Point Spread: Wolves -0.5/West Ham +0.5
Moneyline: Wolves +110/West Ham +260/Draw +240
Total: Over 2.5 (+100)/Under 2.5 (-134) (Odds at Bet365)
Last Time Out:
Wolves drew 1-1 with Olympiakos of Greece on March 12; West Ham lost 1-0 to Arsenal on March 7.
Wolves defeated West Ham 2-0 on December 4 at Molineux Stadium in Wolverhampton.
About the Matchup:
While Wolves push toward a second consecutive appearance in European competition, West Ham is just hoping to remain part of the Premier League. West Ham needs points in a hurry, however, because it’s hitting one of the toughest parts of its schedule. Over their final nine matches, they’ll face three of the Big Six as well as Wolves, which could make it very difficult to avoid a relegation battle. West Ham had won just once in eight matches heading into the pause, which has the Hammers only out of the drop zone on goal difference.
Getting points has proven to be no problem for Wolves, which has avoided defeat in five straight Premier League matches. Defense has been the name of the game for Wolves, which hasn’t allowed a goal in four of its past five Premier League matches and hasn’t tasted defeat against an English side since January 23. Only Liverpool and Manchester United could say they were playing better soccer than Wolves at the pause, but can Wolves regain its form after three months off?
Scouting Wolverhampton Wanderers:
Since September 9, when Chelsea ripped through Wolves for five goals, the Wolverhampton defense has made itself into the team’s backbone. Since that match, nobody in England has found the net more than twice against Wolves, which is on the verge of proving that last year’s seventh-place performance was no fluke. The Wolves sit just five points back of Chelsea for fourth place, and with Manchester City’s expulsion from European competition for the next two years, fifth place will be good enough to earn a spot in the Champions League.
For Wolves to get that coveted spot, it’s got to get its attack going again. Wolverhampton’s offense has basically run through Raul Jimenez at the front and Adama Traore and Joao Moutinho providing the setup. But other than Jimenez and Diogo Jota, no Wolves player has more than four goals on the season. Jimenez scored in two of Wolves’ past three matches, and he’s got to be back on track for Wolves to get rolling.