Avram Grant may have rubbished suggestions that he had only three fixtures over Christmas to save his job at Upton Park, however his West Ham side have certainly begun to put in some improved performances, setting them up for a titanic New Year tussle with relegation rivals Wolves.
It may be a little over the top to suggest that the vanquished side here will be doomed to relegation, however it certainly is fair to suggest that this is a game that West Ham simply cannot afford to lose, regardless of their recent run of form.
Mick McCarthy could not have been happier to see his side grind out a 1-0 win over Liverpool this week, regardless of the ever decreasing strength of the Merseyside club. After weeks of platitudes about the quality of Wolves’ performances in defeat, it would have given the former Republic of Ireland manager immense pleasure to see his side keep a clean sheet whilst defending the Kop in the second half.
Do not expect a game of excellence here- if Wolves have developed the battling qualities required to slug out important results, then West Ham could be in trouble. However, I fancy home advantage to absolutely key in a game everyone at Upton Park dare not lose.
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