Wolves manager Bruno Lage has singled out West Ham midfielders Declan Rice, Tomas Soucek and Pablo Fornals for praise ahead of Saturday’s clash.

The Hammers visit Molineux Stadium and will look to resume from where they stopped prior to the break, but the hosts’ Portuguese boss believes stopping their three midfield players could be key to securing victory.

Wolves have lost just one of their last six Premier League games, and they are aiming to bounce back from the defeat to Crystal Palace when David Moyes’ side come visiting.

Lage told the club’s official website while dissecting the threat of West Ham’s midfield: “Not just when they are attacking, but also very important when they are defending because they close the pitch in the middle with these midfielders.

“They’re very strong because it’s not just the attacking statistics and the way they score goals, but they are also strong when they are defending, especially the three midfielders, they are very aggressive in that area to win the ball, with good first touch, to win the transitions with goals.

“We are playing against a strong team. They are doing well, not just in the Premier League, but also in the Europa League, so we need to be on top like we did against Everton at home, with our fans at our back, to give a good performance and try to win the game.”

Threat identified

Soucek, Rice and Fornals all have their different roles, and the Wolves boss knows his side need to neutralise the trio to have a chance of getting a result against one of the best teams in the land right now.

The England international has combined attacking and defensive duties together this term, while the Czech Republic international has been mainly responsible for nullifying the offensive threats of the opposition in the middle of the park.

Fornals has largely been the creator-in-chief, but his willingness to keep running makes life difficult for opponents.

West Ham will look to hurt Wolves through the wings too, with Aaron Cresswell and Ben Johnson able to supply crosses into the box.

With the Hammers’ dominant aerial presence, it is not a surprise that they have scored from a lot of set-pieces this term, and both Rice and Soucek have often put their height into great use.

Michail Antonio, Jarrod Bowen and Said Benrahma are firing in attack but they rely on the midfield to deliver first, and it is why Lage will be coming up with several ways to make sure Wolves their battle in that area of the pitch.

In other West Ham news, an amazing attacker is making personal arrangements for Hammers switch in January.

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The post ‘Aggressive’ – Wolves boss thrilled by West Ham trio ahead of Saturday showdown appeared first on West Ham Zone.


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