Wolves match preview

Barclays Premier League
West Ham United v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Boleyn Ground
Tuesday 23 March 2010
Referee: Phil Dowd


• West Ham United will look to arrest a run of four straight defeats - including reverses against the top-flight's top three on the road - when they welcome Wolverhampton Wanderers for a vital Barclays Premier League match on Tuesday night.

• Mick McCarthy's side have not lost in their last two matches on the road at Burnley [a 2-1 win] and Aston Villa [a 2-2 draw] this month. They will hope to make it a claret and blue treble at the Boleyn Ground.

• The match was originally due to be played on 10 January before being beaten by adverse weather conditions in east London. It was then rescheduled for Tuesday 2 February only for Wolves' FA Cup commitments at the time to lead to a second postponement.

• A home win would move 17th-placed West Ham six points clear of the drop zone with a far superior goal difference to the clubs in the bottom three. They would also leapfrog Wolves, who are currently one point and one place above the Hammers.

• West Ham have still not won away this season since a 2-0 success at Molineux on the opening day. Before losing 2-1 at home to Bolton Wanderers on 6 March, they had gone five matches unbeaten at home.

• Wolves have been unchanged for the last six home matches, a luxury only open to Gianfranco Zola once this season back in August and the matches against Tottenham Hotspur (home) and Blackburn Rovers (away).

• The hosts have enjoyed a good run of form against the Midlanders, with four wins and just one defeat in their last six meetings. They have not lost at home to Wolves since a 2-1 defeat in March 1978 - the only time in the Midlanders' last 15 trips to the Boleyn.

• This will be the sides' second encounter in the Premier League but they have met 56 times before. West Ham hold the upper hand with 26 wins. Wolves have emerged victorious on 17 occasions.

Last time out

Saturday 20 March 2010
Barclays Premier League
Arsenal 2-0 West Ham United
West Ham United: G
reen, Upson, Spector, Tomkins, Daprela, Kovac (Noble 70), Behrami, Stanislas, Franco (Cole 57), Diamanti, Mido (McCarthy 75)
Subs not used: Stech, Spence, Ilunga, Ilan

Saturday 20 March 2010
Barclays Premier League
Aston Villa 2-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Wolves: Hahnemann, Foley, Berra, Craddock, Zubar, Henry, Jarvis (Iwelumo 89), David Jones, Stephan Ward (Mancienne 64), Guedioura (Elokobi 45), Doyle
Subs not used: Hennessey, Keogh, Ebanks-Blake, Milijas
Goals: Craddock 23, Milner 38 og

Last meeting

The teams last met at Molineux on 15 August 2009 when goals in each half from Mark Noble and Matthew Upson ensured a 2-0 away win for the Hammers. The teams that day were -

West Ham United: Green, Faubert, Upson, Collins, Ilunga (Spector 65), Parker, Noble, Collison, Dyer (Stanislas 73), Jimenez, Cole (Nouble 90)
Subs not used: Kurucz, Gabbidon, Spector, Payne, Hines

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Hennessey, Foley (Vokes 75), Mancienne (Stearman 67), Craddock, Ward, Halford, Henry, Milijas (Edwards 80), Jarvis, Ebanks-Blake, Keogh
Subs not used: Hahnemann, Elokobi, Surman, Jones

Head to head

Last six meetings (league unless stated)

15 August 2009 - Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-2 West Ham United
15 January 2005 - Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-2 West Ham United
2 October 2004 - West Ham United 1-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers
25 January 2004 - Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-3 West Ham United (FA Cup)
6 March 1993 - West Ham United 3-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
4 October 1992 - Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-0 West Ham United

Next up

• West Ham United have another vital home game on Saturday against Stoke City, click here for ticket news. Wolves' own survival fight will see them welcome high-flying Everton.


• Tuesday's referee is Phil Dowd, who was the original appointment when the match was first due to be played on 10 January.

• Dowd began refereeing in 1984. He was promoted to the Barclays Premier League list of referees in 2001. This is his ninth season as a top-flight referee.

• He was the fourth official at the 2006 FA Cup final between West Ham United and Liverpool at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

• Dowd took charge of five West Ham matches last season, most notably the 3-1 home victory over Newcastle United on 20 September, Gianfranco Zola's first match as Hammers manager. Dowd was also the man in the middle for the home matches against Arsenal, Fulham and Manchester United and the penultimate game of the season away at Everton.

• Tuesday's game will be Dowd's third Hammers game of the season after refereeing the goalless draw with Blackburn Rovers on 29 August and the 2-2 draw with Fulham on 4 October.

• Dowd has not taken charge of one match involving Wolves this season, despite officiating in 30 different games.

West Ham United

• Before Alessandro Diamanti missed at the Emirates on Saturday, the Hammers had scored all seven of the penalties they have been awarded this season, a Premier League high.

• Diamanti's eight goals in all competitions has left him just one behind top scorer Carlton Cole.

• Hammer of the Year holder Scott Parker has won more free-kicks (53) than any other player in claret and blue.

• West Ham have scored 37 goals this season in the league with 15 different players on target. Carlton Cole leads the way (nine), with Alessandro Diamanti (seven) and Guille Franco and Matthew Upson (three) next in line. Jack Collison, Mark Noble, Junior Stanislas (two each), Ilan, Manuel da Costa, the departed Luis Jimenez, Zavon Hines, Radoslav Kovac, Valon Behrami, Julien Faubert and Scott Parker have also registered. An own-goal from Everton's Tony Hibbert completes the tally.

• Parker has been cautioned nine times this season and Faubert, Franco, Kovac and Noble five each. Cole and Collison are on four yellow cards, but will not be suspended if they receive a fifth as the FA disciplinary deadline has passed. Should any player reach ten cautions before the second Sunday in April, they will receive a two-mach suspension.

• Only Robert Green has played in every league game for the club this season. He is on a run of 117 successive league starts.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

• Wolves have scored just 25 goals this season, the lowest tally in the top flight.

• They have only won two matches in their last dozen.

• Kevin Doyle with six goals is their top scorer, with defender Jody Craddock the surprise name pushing him hard with five strikes.

Team news

• Gianfranco Zola could recall weekend substitutes Mark Noble, Benni McCarthy and Carlton Cole into his starting lineup. He is also monitoring the return to fitness of Julien Faubert, Herita Ilunga, Danny Gabbidon, Scott Parker and Kieron Dyer - with at least one or two of that quartet hoping to figure on the bench.

• Luis Boa Morte is edging nearer to his own full training comeback after missing the whole season to date with a cruciate knee ligament injury suffered last July.

• Manuel da Costa will miss out as he serves the final game of a three-match suspension for his red card in the reserves last month.

• Zavon Hines will not play again this season with a knee injury.

• Wolves have enjoyed a consistent run of team selection and only Michael Kightly is out with ankle and knee problems.

Old boys

• Carlton Cole spent two months on loan at Wolves at the end of 2003, where he made seven appearances, scoring one goal.

• First-team coach Kevin Keen played 42 times for Wolves after leaving West Ham in 1993.

Others who have played for both clubs include Jeremie Aliadiere, Edward Anderson, Frank Burrill, Henri Camara, Robert 'Dickie' Deacon, Tommy Dunn, Noel Dwyer, Joe Gallagher, Bobby Gould, Harry Hooper, Tudor Martin, Shaun Newton, Nigel Quashie and Dick Richards.

General information

Tickets for the match are now on general sale. For ticket information, click here. For details on getting to the Boleyn Ground, click here

Weather: Tuesday night's forecast is for a cloudy evening. The top temperature will be 8C.