West Ham United vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers – prediction, team news, lineups

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David Moyes’s side occupy a spot in the relegation zone at present, while their visitors are only one place and two points better off.

Match preview

West Ham United manager David Moyes on August 28, 2022© Reuters

Claiming back-to-back wins in the Europa Conference League is all well and good, but West Ham’s success on the continent did not translate into improved domestic fortunes when they travelled to face Everton just before the international break.

The Hammers’ struggles in front of goal continued as Neal Maupay struck the only goal of the game in a 1-0 victory for the Toffees, and West Ham’s next few games could supposedly make or break David Moyes’s tenure in the hotseat.

With only one win and a paltry three goals to show from their opening seven games of the Premier League season – boasting the league’s joint-worst attack alongside this weekend’s visitors Wolves – West Ham currently sit 18th in the table and are in desperate need of an attacking spark.

A tally of just two defeats from their last seven outings in all competitions may look good on paper, but football matches are not played on paper, and West Ham now set out to end a six-game winless streak at the London Stadium in the Premier League – not since 2003 have they endured a longer such run.

In order to do so, West Ham will likely have to achieve something that they are yet to do in the Premier League this season – score a goal in the first half – as Wolves’ attacking prowess following the half-time interval has been virtually non-existent as well.

Wolverhampton Wanderers boss Bruno Lage on September 17, 2022© Reuters

Not a single soul will knock Bruno Lage‘s side for failing to find the back of the net against reigning champions Manchester City, who came away from Molineux with a 3-0 win to their name on September 17 thanks to goals from Phil FodenErling Braut Haaland and Jack Grealish.

The writing was on the wall for Wolves after Nathan Collins‘s red card in the 33rd minute of the contest, as the visitors’ four-game unbeaten streak in all competitions came to a swift end amid increasing concern of their attacking capabilities – or lack of.

Having also found the back of the net just three times in league action this term – none of which has come in the second half – Wolves are dangling just above the dotted line in 17th place and travel to the London Stadium still waiting for their first away win of the new top-flight season.

Lage can be encouraged by the fact that his side boast the joint-best defensive record on the road so far, being one of five teams to have conceded just three goals in away matches, but Wolves have now gone a miserable seven Premier League away games without a win since prevailing at Everton in March.

A goal from Tomas Soucek was enough to hand West Ham a 1-0 win over Wolves in this fixture last season – a third triumph from their last four league games against Lage’s side – and Moyes is seemingly fighting for three points and his job in Saturday’s game.

Team News

Atletico Mineiro's Diego Costa pictured in October 2021© Reuters

West Ham centre-back Nayef Aguerd is not expected back in action for another couple of weeks due to his ankle injury, but Ben Johnson is progressing well following a thigh issue and is pushing to be involved.

The hosts did not pick up any fresh concerns over the international break, and Moyes is blessed with options for change in the final third as he seeks to reverse his side’s profligate streak.

Gianluca Scamacca ought to come into contention for just his second Premier League start over Michail Antonio, while Maxwel Cornet can feel optimistic of displacing Pablo Fornals out wide.

As for the visitors, Diego Costa was not deemed ready to make his second Premier League debut on September 17 after his arrival as a free agent, but the former Chelsea man will push for a start after taking part in full training earlier this month.

Costa has been “training well” according to Lage, but the Wolves boss also hinted that he would not quite be ready to start, so either Goncalo Guedes or Hwang Hee-chan may lead the line as Costa settles for spot on the bench.

Collins begins a three-game ban after his red card against City, which opens up a spot for either Yerson Mosquera or Toti to partner Max Kilman, while Chiquinho and Sasa Kalajdzic remain out for the long-term.

A worrying update from Mexico has emerged on Raul Jimenez, whose groin injury is supposedly giving him difficulty walking, and he is no closer to returning to Lage’s squad.

West Ham United possible starting lineup:
Fabianski; Coufal, Kehrer, Zouma, Cresswell; Rice, Soucek; Bowen, Paqueta, Cornet; Scamacca

Wolverhampton Wanderers possible starting lineup:
Sa; Jonny, Toti, Kilman, Ait-Nouri; Neves, Nunes, Moutinho; Neto, Hwang, Podence

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