Friday 25 Sep
Updated Saturday 26 Sep 19:12
First Team

West Ham United v Wolverhampton Wanderers - All you need to know

West Ham United v Wolverhampton Wanderers - All you need to know


West Ham United continue their 2020/21 Premier League season with the visit of Wolverhampton Wanderers to London Stadium on Sunday evening.

With David Moyes self-isolating after being tested positive for COVID-19, assistant manager Alan Irvine will be on the touchline, but his fellow Scot will continue to manage the team remotely.

The fixture will be shown live in the UK by BT Sport, with coverage starting at 6.30pm, and across the world by the Premier League’s international broadcast partners.

Both teams will sport the No Room For Racism message on their shirts, and West Ham manager David Moyes has confirmed his players will kneel in support of the Black Lives Matter social justice campaign.

Before kick-off, fans will also hear the new Premier League. VAR has also changed for this season, with on-field referees expected to use their pitchside screens far more often, while there are also some alterations to laws around encroachment at penalty kicks.

You can order a copy of the 116-page Official Programme for your collection here, while a FREE digital edition is available to read online on from 7pm on Friday.


Team news…

Mark Noble


West Ham United will definitely be without defender Issa Diop and midfielder Josh Cullen, who are self-isolating after testing positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday.

However, captain Mark Noble is fit again after returning to training following treatment for a toe injury. Every other first-team squad member is fit.

Wolves' new signing Nelson Semedo could debut at right wing-back at London Stadium, but left wing-back Marcal is out after being injured against Manchester City last weekend. His place is likely to go to Ruben Vinagre.


The opposition – Wolverhampton Wanderers

Wolverhampton Wanderers are enjoying their best period in four decades.

It was 1979/80 when Andy Gray’s strike secured the League Cup and John Richards’ 18 goals helped Wolves finish sixth in the old First Division, culminating a decade that had also seen them finish fourth in 1970/71, reach the first-ever UEFA Cup final in 1972, finish fifth in 1972/73 and win the League Cup in 1974.

Amazingly, six years on from Gray’s Wembley winner, Wolves were in financial disarray and languishing in the Fourth Division, having suffered three calamitous relegations.

The appointment of manager Graham Turner, emergence of striker Steve Bull and arrival of new owner Jack Hayward provoked a change in fortunes.

The club’s historic Molineux stadium was re-developed and Wolves began climbing the divisions again, culminating in promotion to the Premier League for the first time in 2003.

That was not the end of the story, though, as Wolves were relegated down to League One in 2012/13, before bouncing back in spectacular style.

In 2016, Chinese investors Fosun bought the club’s parent company and appointed Nuno Espirito Santo as manager.

Assisted by heavy investment in new players and a creative recruitment strategy, the former goalkeeper has led Wolves back to the Premier League, consecutive seventh-place finishes and the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals.

However, after missing European qualification on the final day of last season, Nuno’s challenge is to maintain the club’s recent momentum.


Previous meetings…


West Ham United and Wolverhampton Wanderers have met 65 times in competitive matches, with West Ham winning 29, Wolves winning 22 and 14 games ending in draws.


However, Wolves have won the last four, all in the Premier League since their promotion in 2018, without conceding a goal.


By the numbers…

9    Michail Antonio has scored nine goals in his last nine Premier League appearances, including seven in his previous four away top-flight matches. However, Antonio is still seeking his first against Wolverhampton Wanderers, having failed to hit the net in eight previous appearances against them for West Ham, Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest.

5-1    West Ham United’s first-ever meeting with Wolverhampton Wanderers ended in a thumping 5-1 FA Cup second-round win at Molineux on 5 February 1910. The Hammers were then a Southern League side, but they showed no fear of their Football League Second Division hosts, shocking the 17,000 crowd with George Webb (see A-Z for more on West Ham’s first England international) scoring a hat-trick and Danny Shea netting twice.

107    West Ham United have scored 107 goals in their 65 competitive matches with Wolverhampton Wanderers. The Hammers have hit five on four separate occasions, with the biggest home wins being the 5-0 Division One successes achieved on 17 December 1960 and 7 September 1964 (pictured).


Johnny Byrne in action against Wolves in 1964


6    Unsurprisingly, West Ham United’s second leading all-time goalscorer Sir Geoff Hurst has scored more times against Wolverhampton Wanderers than any other player, ahead of John Dick and Syd Puddefoot (five) and Johnny Byrne (four).

1,639,238    The total number of supporters who have attended the 65 competitive matches between the two clubs – an average attendance of 25,219. The largest crowd to watch a West Ham United versus Wolverhampton Wanderers fixture was the 56,947 who were present to see Wolves secure a 1-0 Premier League win at London Stadium on 1 September 2018.

5    West Ham United have converted five penalties against Wolverhampton Wanderers. Johnny Byrne scored two of them, with Billy Bonds, Julian Dicks and Mark Noble also converting from the spot. The only Hammer to miss a penalty against tonight’s visitors? Ray Stewart!

33    The following 33 players have been on the books of both West Ham United and Wolverhampton Wanderers: Jeremie Aliadiere, Edward Anderson, Gary Breen, Stan Burton, Roy Carroll, Carlton Cole, David Connolly, Frank Curtis, Richard Deacon, John Dowen, Noel Dwyer, Joe Gallagher, Bobby Gould, Marlon Harewood, Harry Hooper, Matt Jarvis, Roger Johnson, Robbie Keane, Kevin Keen, David Kelly, 
Bertie Lutton, Tudor Martin, Steve Mautone, Shaun Newton, Frank Nouble, Nigel Quashie, Kyel Reid, Dick Richards, Robbie Slater, Mike Small, Arthur Weare, Arthur Wilson and Robert Young.


Match officials…

Martin Atkinson


Referee: Martin Atkinson 
Assistant Referees: Adam Nunn & Dan Cook
Fourth Official: Robert Jones
VAR: Graham Scott
Assistant VAR: Derek Eaton

Born in the village of Drighlington, midway between Leeds and Bradford in the West Riding of Yorkshire, in March 1971, Martin Atkinson began refereeing at the age of 16.

He joined the Football League as an assistant referee aged 27, in 1998, before being promoted to the national list of referees five years later.
Atkinson refereed his first Premier League game, Manchester City’s 3-0 win over Birmingham City, in April 2005.

The following year, 2006, he was appointed to the FIFA list of international referees.

Atkinson has officiated a number of high-profile matches, including the 2011 FA Cup final, 2014 EFL Cup final, UEFA Champions League and international matches, including being England’s representative at UEFA Euro 2016.

The 49-year-old has referred West Ham United on 54 occasions, including the 3-2 win over Chelsea and 3-1 win over Watford at London Stadium in July.


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