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West Ham vs Wolves predictions: Goals in short supply for struggling duo
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Simon Barlow
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It has been a tough start to the season domestically for David Moyes' West Ham
It has been a tough start to the season domestically for David Moyes' West Ham

Wolves could hand a debut to new striker Diego Costa as they head to the London Stadium on Saturday to take on a West Ham side on their worst home run for more than 19 years.

Three draws and three defeats in their past six Premier League games has left David Moyes' men in the relegation zone, one place and two points behind Bruno Lage's outfit.

While the Hammers have been prolific in European games this term, they are struggling for goals domestically and come into this fixture as the joint-lowest scorers in the Premier League this season alongside Wolves.

After the club's £160m summer spend to bring in fresh attacking talent, Moyes finds himself under more pressure than ever since returning for his second spell in charge at the London Stadium.

Team news

West Ham saw no fresh injury concerns arise during the international break.

Defender Ben Johnson could return to the squad after a spell out with a thigh injury, while Nayef Aguerd remains a long-term casualty.

Gianluca Scamacca could be preferred over Michail Antonio up front, and if so would make just his second Premier League start, while Maxwel Cornet is pushing to replace Pablo Fornals out wide.

As for Wolves, new-signing Costa has not played competitively since before Christmas last year, but the Spain international has been working on his match fitness over the international break.

He is in line to make his debut, but Lage has suggested it could come from the bench, which may mean Goncalo Guedes retains his starting berth up front.

There will be a change in central defence because Nathan Collins is suspended after his red card against Manchester City, opening up a spot for either Yerson Mosquera or Toti to slot in alongside Max Kilman.

Hee Chan Hwang picked up an injury while playing for South Korea and is a doubt, while Sasa Kalajdzic (knee), Chiquinho (knee) and Raul Jimenez (groin) remain out.

Supporters could get their first glimpse of Diego Costa in a Wolves shirt on Saturday
Supporters could get their first glimpse of Diego Costa in a Wolves shirt on Saturday

The stats

A sixth defeat in eight league games would be the most for West Ham since 1988-89, which ended in relegation.

The Hammers can become the first club to fail to score a first-half goal in their opening eight matches of a Premier League campaign since Birmingham City in 2009-10.

Wolves, who have won just once in their past 14 top-flight matches, are the only club yet to score in the second half of a Premier League fixture this season, despite attempting 38 shots.

Lage's side also have the lowest shot conversion rate of all Premier League sides so far this term (3.7%).

As a Chelsea player, Costa finished on the winning side in four out of his five Premier League appearances against West Ham, notching three goals in the process.

Prediction

Despite showing some positive signs in their draw with Tottenham and victory over Aston Villa, West Ham still look a bit too blunt to believe in right now.

Wolves lack goal power themselves and they are without one of their top two central defenders this weekend, but their midfield is disciplined and diligent enough to make this a closely-fought contest.

Unless either team has solved their attacking issues during the international break, it looks like a game where chances and goals will be at a premium.

There have been two goals or fewer in five of Wolves' last six Premier League games, while exactly two have been scored in all three of the Hammers' domestic home contests - suggesting a third goal may be out of the question on Saturday.

Tags

West Ham UnitedWolverhampton WanderersPremier League
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