West Ham United could be hit with a blow after it emerged Sunday’s opponents Wolverhampton Wanderers could have a free week.
On paper it looked like West Ham had another tough game with the visit of Wolves to the London Stadium this weekend.
But the Hammers got a potential stroke of luck when Wolves were drawn to play Olympiacos away on Thursday night in the last 16 of the Europa League.
The Europa League offers Wolves not only a genuine chance of major silverware but also Champions League qualification.
Hammers got lucky with tough Wolves away trip
Recent results have made Chelsea and Manchester United favourites to take the last two Champions League spots via the league – if Manchester City’s two-year European ban is upheld.
If that ban is overturned then it makes it even less likely Wolves could do it via the league.
So the last 16 tie could be a huge distraction for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side and West Ham fans felt it could work in their favour. Particularly as Wolves would not land back into the UK until Friday lunchtime at the earliest.
But news breaking this lunchtime claims the game in Greece could be postponed after Olympiacos’s players and staff were all sent to be tested for coronavirus (Express & Star).
The game was already being played behind closed doors due to the outbreak.
That would mean Wolves will have had a full eight days of rest before they visit West Ham.
Boost for Wolves is a blow for West Ham
And that would be a real rarity for Espirito Santo’s side who started their season way back in mid July.
West Ham are desperate for a win which would keep them out of the relegation zone.
Realistically David Moyes needs to find four wins from the last nine games of the season.
Wolves represents one of their winnable home games.
Aston Villa’s 4-0 thumping at Leicester City on Monday night plays into West Ham’s hands.
Dean Smith’s face in-form Chelsea before games against Wolves, Liverpool and Manchester United next.
And they are now favourites to join Norwich City in the Championship.
Moyes needs four wins to survive
That would mean it is one from four to join them with West Ham effectively battling it out with Watford, Bournemouth and Brighton to avoid filling the final spot.
It is tense times at West Ham at the moment.
The Hammers have started to look a decent side under Moyes and should have comfortably beaten Arsenal at the Emirates last time out.
If West Ham can secure safety – with lessons learned from this season – Moyes may be able to implement his admirable plan to build a young, hungry team around the likes of Jarrod Bowen, Declan Rice, Jeremy NGakia and Tomas Soucek.
West Ham’s run-in:
Man United (A)
Aston Villa (H)