Wolves v West Ham: Old Gold to extend club record run
Upwardly-mobile Wolves welcome West Ham to Molineux on Wednesday night. Mark O'Haire previews the Premier League contest.
Wolves v West Ham Wednesday December 4, 19:30 Amazon Prime
Wolves extend unbeaten streak
Wolves matched a top-flight unbeaten record that was set way back in 1973 when holding Sheffield United to a 1-1 draw on Sunday. The stalemate saw the Old Gold extend their streak without defeat to nine games (W4-D5-L0) since mid-September as Matt Doherty's equaliser kept Nuno Espirito Santo's. side sixth in the Premier League after 14 games.
Wolves started sloppily - possibly weary from Europa League duty in Braga on Thursday night - and conceded the opening goal inside 63 seconds. Nuno's troops remained second best until Doherty headed in Raul Jimenez's cross after 64 minutes, although Wanderers finished the game stronger in their 27th match of the campaign across all competitions.
Nuno handed a first Premier League start to defender Max Kilman, making him the first former England futsal player to play a full game in the top-flight, and without utilising his bench at all against the Blades, Wolves, therefore, became the first Premier League team not to make a substitution since April. Few changes are expected on Wednesday night.
Martin inspires unexpected West Ham win
Debutant goalkeeper David Martin was in tears after helping West Ham end a seven-game winless run with an unexpected and vital 1-0 victory at Chelsea on Saturday. Martin, the son of Hammers legend Alvin, replaced Roberto between the sticks and it proved an inspired move as Manuel Pellegrini's men recorded a first victory at Stamford Bridge for 17 years.
Aaron Cresswell scored the decisive Hammers winner three minutes after the break as he cut inside and fired low past Kepa Arrizabalaga. Chelsea had plenty of chances early on but were unable to make a breakthrough with 33-year-old third-choice keeper Martin making a Premier League debut, keeping the club's first clean sheet since mid-September.
Prior to the game, there were reports Chilean Pellegrini had just two games to save his job. But the derby victory has relieved pressure on the Chilean as West Ham move four points clear of the relegation zone. Issa Diop returns from suspension for the Hammers here but Lukasz Fabianski, Manuel Lanzini, Jack Wilshere and Winston Reid are still unavailable.
Draw a big runner at Molineux
Wolves won both Premier League meetings with West Ham last season, although they've never beaten the Hammers in three consecutive league games before. Nevertheless, the Old Gold have suffered a solitary home reverse in seven against the Hammers (W4-D2-L1), with that sole loss arriving in the Premier League way back in August 2009.
Wolves1.83 are looking to remain unbeaten in 10 consecutive top-flight matches for the first time since January 1972. Nuno Espirito Santo's side have drawn more Premier League matches than any other team since the start of last season (17) and are the first top-flight team since Sunderland in 2014-15 to draw eight of their opening 14 matches of a season.
The stalemate therefore appeals at 3.80 on Wednesday evening with West Ham rated a 5.20 shot. Despite winning 15 points from their last 27 available away in the Premier League (W4-D3-L2), Manuel Pellegrini's men may find taking top honours too tall a task considering the hosts have only been beaten twice this term in league action.
Old Gold to pick up positive result
Only Liverpool have delivered more winning Both Teams To Score1.84 selections in the Premier League than Wolves this term. The hosts have seen 11/14 (79%) encounters reward BTTS backers, including all bar one of their seven showdowns at Molineux.
West Ham haven't proven quite so fruitful in the same market - boasting a 50% success-rate - with the Hammers' average goals per-game return dropping dramatically when they take to the road under Manuel Pellegrini's watch. Even so, the visitors have shutout only five home teams in 26 during the Chilean's reign suggesting the back door is rarely closed.
Collectively, the two teams have seen Under 3.5 Goals land in 41/52 (79%) of their combined home/away league outings since the start of last season and with Wolves already favoured, as well as being looking likely to find the back of the net, there's wriggleroom in Betfair Sportsbook's Same Game Multimarket.
Here we can support Wolves in the Double Chance market, plus Wolves to score Over 0.5 Goals in a match producing Under 3.5 Goals in total at 1.84. We're effectively backing Wolves to win 1-0, 2-0 or 3-0, as well as the 1-1 draw at a similar price to the home success, which seems a very fair alternative.