West Ham can tonight climb above Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool and move into the top four in the Premier League with a win at Wolves.
The race for the final Champions League qualification places took a twist over the weekend with Leicester City and Chelsea – the teams in third and fourth – both losing and fifth-place Tottenham only drawing.
West Ham will look to take advantage against a Wolves team which has little to play for this season, but their own hopes have been severely hampered with news of Declan Rice’s injury suffered while on international duty with England.
Rice, who has been captain on numerous occasions this season as Mark Noble falls down the pecking order, is expected to be out for at least four weeks and may miss the remainder of the season.
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West Ham have proved to be a versatile side under Moyes this season. With Rice out and Masuaku fit for the first time since December, we could see the Hammers revert to a three at the back in order to give whoever replaces Rice slightly less responsibility in midfield.
West Ham are taking it a game at a time across the run in.
The Hammers are well in the mix for a Champions League place, but Moyes won’t get carried away.
The Scot said: “I did say that when we get to single games I would look at it, but it is really tight and there are five or six teams who could certainly be in different positions.
“So what I have done in my head is simply take it one by one now and see where we go and then move on to the next one. But we were not expected to be in this position but we are going to try and do everything to stay in this position and if that get’s us into one of the European competitions then great, but if it doesn’t we will look at it and probably look and still see it as a good season so we will have to try and keep going and make it a great season if we can by making it into European competition.”
Jesse Lingard has been crucial to the Hammers since joining from Manchester United in January.
The loanee is averaging a goal or assist every 88 minutes in claret and blue, which has gone down well with his manager.
Moyes said: “I think that’s a great stat, I like that! It is great for us and when you bring people in during January, you hope they can make a difference and do something for you and Jesse has. That stat certainly backs that up.”
David Moyes will have an eye on Goodison Park this evening.
The former Everton boss will be hoping his old side slip up before West Ham kick-off in the Black Country.
A win for the Toffees would see them move level on points with West Ham and Carlo Ancelotti’s side have a game in hand on the east Londoners
How can the Hammers cope without Rice?
The midfielder has captained the side this season, with Mark Noble falling down the pecking order, and his partnership with Tomas Soucek is one of the more formidable in the league.
Moyes is thin on options in central midfield and Noble, 33, is the obvious replacement. The West Ham veteran, who has announced that next season will be his last at the club, has done well in the FA Cup this term but looked off the pace in the Premier League and cannot offer the same presence or energy as Rice.
Hello and welcome to the Evening Standard’s LIVE coverage of the Premier League clash between Wolves and West Ham.
A win will take the Hammers into the top four, though the club have been rocked by news of Declan Rice’s injury.
Stick with us for all the build-up, action and reaction.