Wolverhampton Wanderers v West Ham United - All You Need To Know
West Ham United continue their 2020/21 Premier League season with a trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday evening.
The Hammers travel to Molineux for their 30th of 38 top-flight games, knowing a win will keep them in fifth place in the table.
The Irons will be seeking to complete a first-ever Premier League double over Wolves, having thrashed Nuno Espirito Santo's side 4-0 at London Stadium in the reverse fixture at London Stadium back on 27 September last year.
Indeed, a win for David Moyes' side would complete a first league double over Wolves since the 1922/23 season, when both clubs were in the Second Division.
While West Ham kick-off the fixture round in fifth with 49 points from 29 matches, Wolves start the weekend 13th with 35 points from 29 games played.
With the country under COVID-19 restrictions, Monday's game will be played without supporters present. However, the 8.15pm kick-off will be screened live in the UK by Sky Sports and across the world by the Premier League's international broadcast partners.
West Ham United will be without without Angelo Ogbonna, who is rehabbing the ankle injury he suffered in an FA Cup defeat at Manchester United in February.
Ukraine forward Andriy Yarmolenko has seen a specialist in a bid to cure the knee injury he suffered at Manchester United in the aforementioned FA Cup tie and will not be available.
Meanwhile, Darren Randolph (hip) and Pablo Fornals (groin) are also getting closer to making their respective returns to first-team availability.
However, DR Congo wing-back Arthur Masuaku, who underwent knee surgery before Christmas, returned in an U23 game against Leicester City on 13 March and could be available.
Wolverhampton Wanderers are expecting to have Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio available. The experienced stopper suffered a head injury in Wolves' 1-0 home defeat by Liverpool on 15 March, but has returned to training.
Mexico centre-forward Raul Jimenez suffered a fractured skull playing against Arsenal in November 2020 and has yet to return to competitive action.
The opposition – Wolverhampton Wanderers
For the first time since he took charge in May 2017, Nuno Espirito Santo's Wolverhampton Wanderers appear to have taken a backward step this season.
With serious injuries to important players and the COVID pandemic causing issues that the Portuguese manager could not have foreseen, plus the sale of the influential Diogo Jota to Liverpool in the close-season, Wolves have been unable to replicate their form of the previous two years in the Premier League.
After winning promotion in 2017/18, Wolves have finished seventh in each of the last two seasons, while they also reached the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals last term, but 2020/21 has been a less consistent campaign.
Wolves have won back-to-back Premier League games just twice all season, and have been in the bottom half of the table since mid-December.
After narrowly missing out on European qualification on the final day of last season, Wolves have not seriously threatened a repeat of that achievement in 2020/21, losing in the FA Cup fifth round to Southampton and EFL Cup second round to Stoke City - both on home turf.
As mentioned, though, Wolves lost Jota and right-back Matt Doherty last summer, then star centre-forward Raul Jimenez to a serious head injury in October, and Nuno's team have struggled to find consistency in performances and results.
All that means that, while Wolves should be safe from relegation, they have yet to reach the 40-point mark, and, having failed to win any of their last four Premier League matches, Nuno and his players will be eager to break through that barrier sooner rather than later.
West Ham United meet Wolverhampton Wanderers for the tenth time in the Premier League on Monday evening.
Wolves have edged things in this competition, registering five wins to West Ham's three, with one draw.
West Ham's most emphatic Premier League result against Wolves was the 4-0 victory we scored over them in September 2020.
Prior to that, the Hammers have registered two 5-0 top-flight wins over Wolves in the old First Division, with Bobby Moore scoring in both victories at the Boleyn Ground in both December 1960 and September 1964.
The Irons' biggest win at Molineux actually came in the first-ever fixture between the two clubs, when George Webb scored a hat-trick in a 5-1 FA Cup second round success at Molineux in February 2010.
By the numbers
107 West Ham United have scored 111 goals in their 66 competitive matches with Wolverhampton Wanderers. The Hammers have hit five on four separate occasions, with the biggest home wins being the aforementioned 5-0 Division One successes achieved on 17 December 1960 and 7 September 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).
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 Monday's opponents? Ray Stewart!
1958/59 Newly-promoted West Ham United faced Division One champions Wolverhampton Wanderers twice in their opening top-flight matches in the 1958/59 season and did well against them, winning 2-0 at home through goals from John Smith and John Dick, before drawing 1-1 at Molineux courtesy of Mike Grice’s strike.
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.
Referee: Michael Oliver
Assistants referees: Stuart Burt & Dan Cook
Fourth official: Robert Jones
VAR: David Coote
Assistant VAR: Sian Massey-Ellis
Born in Ashington, Northumberland in February 1985, Michael Oliver has been a member of the Select Group of Referees since August 2010, when he was just 25.
Oliver started refereeing in the Northern Premier League from 2003 to 2005 before quickly working his way up through the National League and EFL to reach the Premier League in January 2010.
The 36-year-old refereed the 2007 Conference National and 2009 League One Play-Off finals and controlled the 2016 EFL Cup final and 2018 FA Cup final – all at Wembley Stadium.
Oliver was appointed to the FIFA List in 2012 and has since refereed competitive and friendly international, UEFA Champions League and Europa League fixtures.
He has refereed West Ham United on 28 occasions, including the 2-2 Championship draw with Leeds at the Boleyn Ground in August 2011.
He also officiated the penultimate game at the Boleyn Ground against Swansea City in May 2016, and the away Premier League matches at Arsenal, Leeds United and Manchester City this season.