Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas has delivered his prediction for West Ham United’s trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Wednesday night.
The Hammers go to Molineux on the back of a terrific win over Chelsea, but Nicholas feels they will fall 2-1 to Nuno Espirito Santo’s side. He also had a few choice words for a couple of West Ham stars.
“What a result for West Ham at Chelsea,” he wrote on the Sky Sports website. “They do have a softness about them, though. Declan Rice and Mark Noble are decent and know how to work together, and know when to stifle the game, but it is a learning curve for Rice still.
“Michail Antonio brings the power and strength but West Ham are too nice. Sebastien Haller has gone cold and Felipe Anderson has been poor. I expect Wolves to come through this.”
Nicholas is being a bit harsh on Rice, here, isn’t he? Yes, he’s a young man and he’s still improving – while he’s certainly not been at his best this season – but he’s coming off one of his best performances of the campaign. He was absolutely terrific against Chelsea on Saturday, yet now is the time Nicholas chooses to criticise him. That’s a bit strong, you have to say. However, he’s right about the other two players. Haller has really seen his form dip after a hot start to life in east London. He was even dropped for Antonio on Saturday, and the Englishman performed so well that he probably won’t get back in on Wednesday. As for Anderson, we’ve just not had the tangible production this season that we saw last time out. He’s not scoring goals and he looks bereft of confidence – although Manuel Pellegrini hooking him at half time at Stamford Bridge probably doesn’t help! The Wolves game will be a tough one, but after Saturday the Irons will be hopeful of at least a point.