Feature

BIG questions for Sunday's match

By Alex Keble 23 Feb 2024
Wolves-Sheff Utd

Alex Keble looks ahead to the remaining Matchweek 26 fixtures

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Alex Keble analyses where the upcoming fixtures in Matchweek 26 could be won and lost.

Can Wolves rise up to eighth?

The highest position Wolves have held this season is 10th, where they briefly sat after beating Chelsea 4-2 at the beginning of the month, but Gary O’Neil’s side still haven’t quite managed to heave themselves out of the mid-table pack.

But with Chelsea in EFL Cup final action, Newcastle on the road at Arsenal and West Ham United not playing until Monday night, Wolves may have the opportunity to rise as high as eighth this weekend.

Premier League

Position Pos Club Played Pl GD Points Pts
7 Man Utd MUN 32 -1 50
8 West Ham WHU 33 -6 48
9 Chelsea CHE 31 +9 47
10 Brighton BHA 32 +2 44
11 Wolves WOL 32 -5 43

That would instantly change the story of their season, marking Wolves’ official entry into the race for European football.

If Brighton lose to Everton, Wolves could even move level on points with De Zerbi’s side in seventh. But before we get ahead of ourselves, Sheffield United beat Wolves 2-1 back in November.

O’Neil’s side often look awkward when forced to hog possession and are only at their best when allowed to counter-attack with regularity. Hence why they beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 last weekend and lost 2-0 to Brentford the week before.

This is a deceptively tough match, then. Yet the reward for winning, as we start to think about the run-in, could be season-defining.

Will West Ham finally get first win of 2024?

Brentford have won all five of their previous Premier League matches against West Ham, suggesting Thomas Frank knows exactly how to get the better of David Moyes.

That’s a worrying thought for Hammers supporters, who are yet to see their side win a Premier League match in 2024 after six attempts, having drawn three and lost three.

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In fact, West Ham have lost each of the last three matches without scoring. They haven’t lost four in a row without scoring since 2006.

The chances of that happening seem slim, given that Ethan Pinnock remains injured for this one and Brentford are currently on a run of four defeats from their last five.

From that perspective, this is a huge chance for Moyes to turn things around. He cannot afford anything less than a victory.

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