Wolves v West Ham - how will it go

Last updated : 17 January 2005 By Alex Wootton

Wolves take on West Ham at Molineux on Saturday with a lot more optimism than recent weeks, after a convincing win over an under-strength Millwall (last year’s finalists) in the FA Cup last weekend.

It seems, after recent comments, that Hoddle is pleased with last weeks performance, his first win as manager of Wolves. He will probably going name the same line-up, which looked strong in the last game.

Murray, Clyde, Ince and Olofinjana re-introduced Wolves looked much better and Hoddle must stick with his instincts and play the same line-up. Murray looked in control of his 18-yard box and assured and he controlled the defence well, Ince and Olofinjana added the much need influence and presence in midfield while Clyde slotted into the back line extremely well.

Hoddle said after the Millwall match, “I'm delighted with the first win. We hope this is going to kick-start us in the league as well because it should give us some confidence.” Hoddle is obviously happy with the way his team has performed recently, even though the play-offs seem a long way off at the moment.

With Wolves having a derisory 12,566 attendance last week, Hoddle will motivate this players as the attendance will more than double for this match. The fans should be upbeat about this match-up after a very strong result, and it seems Hoddle has got his team “working” in his way, which he has said all along is his eventual aim.

Wolves’ injury crisis in no more and they have a much stronger squad now than they did at the start of the season, even though Hoddle is trying to strengthen the squad even more. He is believed to be in the market for both a central defender and a striker (with Aas being on loan but not making the cut, and Ramirez on loan at the moment), it seems Hoddle knows what he wants, but he has had trouble getting it so far.

Calum Davenport turned down Wolves to make the loan move from Spurs to Southampton, while Kevin Campbell is understood to have rejected Wolves in favour of Albion.

With West Ham beating Wolves earlier this season on October 2nd, at Upton Park, there could be a little revenge in the air here for everyone around Wolves. This defeat was one on the road of many which sent former manager Dave Jones packing.

West Ham have been in decent form recently, beating Ipswich convincingly, Nottingham Forest, Sunderland and Watford. Their problem is inconsistency, with only four wins away from Home and six losses; they should struggle at the Molineux, which is still a nervous trip for most clubs in the Championship. A 1–0 victory over Norwich in the FA Cup has probably renewed their confidence, but a win at Molineux should be one step too far for The Hammers and Alan Pardew.

Wolves v West Ham could have been foreseen as a “Top Of The Table” battle at the start of the season, but both teams have lost their way slightly this season and desperately need a win. Hoddle has only lost once in charge of Wolves and they are looking a better side, I can’t see West Ham getting one point , never mind all three.

Prediction: Wolves 2 – 1 West Ham United