West Ham United host Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon, as both sides vie for what would be a thoroughly impressive fourth place finish, providing them with Champions League football.
The clash at the London Stadium will be significant whichever way the points go, with each team knowing that anything but three points here will likely spell the end of any hopes of qualifying for the top tier of European football.
David Moyes' side are currently in sixth place, just four points behind Manchester United and three behind Arsenal, in what is turning out to be another extremely impressive season for the Hammers.
They have played two more games than a few teams around them, meaning they have to be wary of being overtaken, but they're still in the Europa League and the FA Cup, so have plenty of optimism to fuel them.
Meanwhile, Bruno Lage's Wolves are just one place lower than their opponents this weekend and, as mentioned previously, have one game in hand on the East London side which they will hope they can use to overtake them.
So far during this campaign they've been very strong defensively, only conceding 20 goals in the 25 games they've played, but the flip side to that is the fact they've only managed 24 goals themselves up to now.
West Ham United
In his pre-match press conference,David Moyes said: 'We're doing OK. Vladimir Coufal had a hernia operation in the week and we'll be without him for a few weeks. Other than that, Angelo Ogbonna has an ACL and we are managing Arthur Masuaku's knee injury.'
There is a few injury concerns that Moyes will have to take into account for this game, though in truth the only real new absence is Vladimir Coufal, given the fact the other two players have longer-term setbacks to contend with.
It's also worth mentioning that Moyes said Andriy Yarmolenko has been given 'a few days off' after he has personal issues to contend with, being a Ukrainian following the events in recent days in his native country.
Ahead of the game, Bruno Lage told the media his side had just one main injury concern to worry about after their most recent match: 'I don't have any information for now [on Nelson Semedo's injury against Arsenal], so let's see.'
Prior to the game at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday night, Lage had a fully-fit squad to choose from when picking his starting XI - including that of Pedro Neto who had been out since last April with a knee injury.
Unfortunately however, during the 90 minutes against the Gunners, the Portuguese International picked up a hamstring injury which means he is no a doubt for their next fixture.
West Ham United (4-2-3-1):
Fabianski; Fredericks, Dawson, Zouma, Cresswell; Soucek, Rice; Bowen, Fornals, Benrahma; Antonio
Wolverhampton Wanderers (3-4-3):
Sa; Kilman, Coady, Saiss; Jonny, Neves, Dendoncker, Ait-Nouri; Podence, Jimenez, Hwang
West Ham United
Despite being high up in the table and competing for the top spots in the league, West Ham's recent form hasn't been glowing, with just one win in their last five, combined with two draws in a row, against Newcastle United and Leicester City.
"From what I’ve seen, I think our round of 16 tie with Sevilla is the pick of the round."— West Ham United (@WestHam) February 25, 2022
🗣 David Moyes#UEL
That said, they are still in three competitions, including the aforementioned Europa League where they have been drawn against Spanish side Sevilla in the Round of 16, with the first leg set to be played in a little under a fortnight's time.
The visitors on Sunday are in a more positive run of results, winning three of their previous five, though they are coming in off the back of a disappointing loss to Arsenal in midweek, thanks to a last minute own goal from Jose Sa.
Keep our heads up, stick together, go again on Sunday.— Wolves (@Wolves) February 25, 2022
However, prior to that game they have picked up some impressive wins, including against the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, who they beat 2-0 away from home, as well as Leicester City, who they overcame 2-1 at Molineux last weekend.
Ones To Watch
When looking through the West Ham squad to find out who could be an eligible candidate for the one to watch for this game, there is really only one name which stands out above the rest, and that is Jarrod Bowen.
The Englishman appears to be in form of his career, prompting claims from pundits, fans and fellow players alike for an England call-up from Gareth Southgate for the 25-year-old when the next international break comes around in March.
He has amassed 10 goals in all competitions this season, as well as an astonishing 11 assists, making him the club's highest attacking contributor when combining the two statistics together by quite some way.
From Wolves' squad, it's a player with the same accolade as Bowen, with Raul Jimenez the Midland's side's top scorer in all competitions so far this season, joint with Daniel Podence and Hwang Hee-Chan on five goals.
It's easy to forget that only around 15 months ago there were fears about whether the Mexican would ever be able to play football again altogether after his serious head injury sustained during a game.
Incredibly though, he has come back to the top flight, and is performing at the highest level once again, with the 30-year-old a firm fan favourite of the Molineux faithful after almost four years at the club.
Previous Five Meetings
As two historical clubs in English football, it probably comes as no surprise to most people that there have been a total of 68 meetings between these two teams throughout history, with the record fairly balanced overall.
Looking at the most recent times they have faced one another, it is also fairly close, with a 2-0 win for Wolves back in December 2019 the first fixture to look at, back when Nuno Espirito Santo was still in charge.
It was Leander Dendoncker and Patrick Cutrone on the scoresheet that day, and just a few weeks later West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini was sacked by the club as they languished in 17th place.
His replacement was David Moyes, but the Scot couldn't prevent the same result many months later when the two sides met in the reverse fixture of that season, in the strange post-lockdown period of football.
Once more Wolves ran out 2-0 victors, this time courtesy of two second half goals from the earlier mentioned Raul Jimenez, whose finish was added to in the 84th minute when Pedro Neto scored for the away side.
In the early stages of the 2020/21 season though, the Hammers' luck changed, and it did so dramatically as Moyes watched his team demolish their opposition 4-0 behind closed doors at the London Stadium.
Jarrod Bowen scored a brace that day, which was added onto by a Jimenez own goal, before Sebastien Haller (now smashing in the goals for Ajax) struck the final blow in injury time at the end of the game.
Next up was a pulsating game near the end of last season as West Ham travelled to Molineux still competing for a top six finish that would guarantee them a Europa League place (spoiler alert: they got it).
The three points they picked up this day were absolutely huge at the time, as they raced into a 3-0 lead, before being pegged back to 3-2 in the 68th minute, but they just about held out for the win in the end.
Finally, a little earlier in this campaign, the two sides faced off with another new manager in the dugout, with the change this time coming from the home team as Bruno Lage faced West Ham for the first time in his career.
He saw his team come out 1-0 winners following a tight contest which was eventually settled by Jimenez in the 58th minute after an excellent strike from the edge of the box by the Mexican international.
How To Watch
For those wanting to watch this game live in the UK, the game is the only Premier League match being played on Sunday and is being broadcast live on Sky Sports.
The programme is set to begin at 1:00 PM GMT on Sky Sports Football, with kick off scheduled to get underway an hour later at 2:00 PM GMT at the London Stadium.