Wolves have been a bit of an enigma this season which is why West Ham manager David Moyes might find it hard to work them out ahead of Monday night’s clash at Molineux.
West Ham will want to bounce back to winning ways as soon as possible in order to keep their hopes of qualifying for Europe alive but Wolves could prove to be a hard team to beat on Monday as you never really know what you’re going to get from them.
This season, Nuno Espirito Santo’s men have beaten the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea but have fallen to defeat to strugglers like West Brom, Burnley and Crystal Palace.
West Ham thrashed Wolves 4-0 at the London Stadium earlier in the season which, at the time, seemed like quite a shock. However with the way the campaign has panned out since, that result doesn’t seem so surprising when you look back.
Going into Monday night’s game, Wolves are 13th in the Premier League table. They have failed to win any of their last four matches and only four teams have scored fewer goals than them this season.
Looking at stats on Wyscout, it’s hard to see why the Midlands club hasn’t scored way more goals.
The next two graphs show how good Wolves are at keeping the ball and also how good they are when it comes to moving the ball forwards by dribbling.
Below shows dribble efficiency. No club has a better success rate at dribbles than Wolves while only Manchester City have attempted more per 90 mins, albeit their success rate is worse than teams like Crystal Palace, Burnley and Fulham.
Next up shows how well teams have kept the ball this season. One part of the graph shows how many passes are completed every 90 minute of Premier League football while the other shows losses per 90 minutes. As you can see, only Man City lose the ball as less often as Wolves, who’s passing rate is mid-table.
Wolves are masters of keeping the ball and are superb at moving it forward when it’s at their feet – but why are they struggling?
Wolves’ xG per shot 0.119 is the third-lowest in the Premier League – even worse than West Brom’s and Sheffield United’s. That means that despite their ability to keep possession and run at opponents, they’re simply not getting the quality of chances in the box.
Still, Wolves  have had more shots at goal than Tottenham  and the same number as West Ham ahead of their clash with the East London club on Monday.
Raul Jimenez’s injury has surely played a major role in Nuno’s unfortunate attacking stats.
The Mexico striker fractured his skull in November and it would be fair to say their form has nosedived since then.
Wolves won 1.7 points per game with Jimenez in their side before his injury. Since then, they’ve won 0.9 points per game.
Jimenez won’t be in the side again on Monday so that’s good news for West Ham already but that doesn’t mean Moyes can simply rely on Wolves missing their chances to win.
He needs to stop them being so calm in possession but also cannot commit defenders to dive into tackles because Wolves’ dribblers like Adama Traore and Pedro Neto will take advantage of that.
It’s a tough one but sitting deep and trying to him the home side on the counter-attack could be the best option for Europe-chasing West Ham.
In other West Ham news, Frank McAvennie has hail Said Benrahma’s improvement at the club.