West Ham United will take any encouragement they can get as the battle for survival intensifies.
West Ham’s woeful finishing cost them crucial points at Arsenal on Saturday.
The Hammers remain out of the relegation zone on goal difference. But with nine games to go, West Ham realistically have to win four of them to survive.
That makes winnable home games against Wolves, Burnley, Watford and Aston Villa vital.
Have Lampard and Solskjaer just done Moyes a favour?
David Moyes’s side certainly won’t have it easy against Champions League chasing Wolves this Sunday.
But they might have it slightly easier thanks to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Frank Lampard.
Victories for Manchester United and Chelsea over Man City and Everton respectively on Sunday consolidated the Red Devils and Blues in fourth and fifth place in the race for the Champions League spots.
If Man City’s European ban is upheld, fifth place will be good enough for the last Champions League place.
Wolves are still in the mix. But their draw at home against West Ham’s relegation rivals Brighton coupled with the wins for Man United and Chelsea have dented their hopes.
Wolves blow could see Europa take precedence ahead of Hammers
And if City’s Euro ban is overturned, Wolves’s hopes of qualifying via the league look highly unlikely.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side may be disheartened as a result when they come to the London Stadium next week facing a West Ham side who simply have to win.
It comes in the middle of the Molineux side’s big Europa League last 16 tie against Olympiacos.
Wolves face a tough trip out to Greece on Thursday night. And they will have one eye on the return leg when they travel to London to face West Ham less than 60 hours after landing back in the UK.
West Ham will hope Wolves are weakened and distracted
Winning the Europa League brings with it qualification for the Champions League.
Indeed by the time West Ham and Wolves kick off on Sunday, the Hammers’s opponents could find themselves nine points off any chance of going above Chelsea – who face Aston Villa the day before.
Nuno may opt to rest key players, particularly if the Europa League tie is in the balance going into the second leg.
The minds of Wolverhampton Wanderers’ players may also be elsewhere as they will privately be desperate to feature in a big European game.
It may be clutching at straws but West Ham and Moyes will take anything they can get at the moment.