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Preview: Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. West Ham United - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wolverhampton Wanderers' meeting with West Ham United on Wednesday, including a prediction, team news and predicted lineups.

Wolverhampton Wanderers welcome West Ham United to Molineux in the Premier League on Wednesday night for what promises to be a competitive affair.

The home side have enjoyed an impressive start to the season, while West Ham will be buoyed by a shock 1-0 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Match preview

Raul Jimenez celebrates scoring yet again for Wolves on November 10, 2019© Reuters

The main question for Wolves heading into this season revolved around whether they could maintain the same level of performance in the Premier League whilst also competing in Europe.

After 14 Premier League fixtures and 11 games in the Europa League, Nuno Espirito Santo's men have emphatically confirmed that they can indeed handle the increased workload.

The Midlands side sit happily in sixth place in the league, their record almost perfectly mirroring their achievements of last season, and have qualified for the knockout phases of the Europa League.

Specifically, Wolves have managed to maintain two crucial aspects of their success: an imperious home record and an aggressive, unified counter-attacking approach capable of hurting any team.

With just one home league defeat all season, Wolves head into this game with their confidence through the roof, but face potentially tricky opponents in West Ham.

West Ham keeper David Martin celebrates on November 30, 2019© Reuters

Heading into the game with Chelsea, West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini was in genuine trouble following a run of eight games without a victory.

Such a dip in form felt even more significant when you consider that West Ham began the 2019-20 campaign with a six-game unbeaten run, including a 2-0 victory over Manchester United.

Against their London rivals, however, West Ham's players rediscovered a sense of rhythm and unified solidity at Stamford Bridge, playing at a significantly improved intensity.

Indeed, such has often been the case for the Irons: sometimes inexplicably listless, sometimes playing like a team capable of beating any Premier League side.

As they prepare for a tricky game against Wolves, Pellegrini's men will know that maintaining a particular level of intensity for 90 minutes is absolutely essential if they are to get anything out of the game.

Recent Wolverhampton Wanderers form: DWWWDD
Recent West Ham United form: LDLLLW

Team News

Manuel Lanzini returns for West Ham United on February 22, 2019© Reuters

Ryan Bennett could return from a groin strain in time for this game, although Willy Boly and Morgan Gibbs-White are definitely out due to respective ankle and back problems.

For West Ham, Manuel Lanzini is likely to miss out on the rest of 2019 after suffering a shoulder injury.

Goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski will also be unavailable until the end of December having sustained a thigh problem last month.

Jack Wilshere and Winston Reid are approaching returns to action, although the game at Molineux comes too soon for the pair.

Wolverhampton Wanderers possible starting lineup:
Patricio; Dendoncker, Coady, Saiss; Doherty, Castro, Neves, Moutinho; Jota, Traore, Jimenez

West Ham United possible starting lineup:
Martin; Fredericks, Balbuena, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Noble, Rice, Yarmolenko, Snodgrass; Anderson, Haller

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We say: Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 West Ham United

Despite a spirited performance away from home on Saturday, you suspect that West Ham will come up second best against a remarkably disciplined team whose excellent home record cannot be ignored. A scrappy affair, with Wolves possessing greater final product, will eventually see the hosts claim all three points.

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Who will win Wednesday's Premier League clash between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Sheffield United?

Wolverhampton Wanderers
Sheffield United
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Sheffield United
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Romain Saiss celebrates scoring for Wolves on December 26, 2018
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2Leicester CityLeicester1511223592635
3Manchester CityMan City15102343172632
5Wolverhampton WanderersWolves155822117423
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd155642318521
7Crystal Palace156361418-421
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs155552523220
9Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd154741715219
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13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton155371822-418
15West Ham UnitedWest Ham154471725-816
16Aston Villa154382224-215
19Norwich CityNorwich1532101632-1611

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