watch our preview for wolves v west ham
Wolves striker Mateus Cunha is pushing for a first start after coming off the bench in each of the last three games. Long-term absentees Pedro Neto, Boubacar Traore, Sasa Kalajdzic and Chiquinho all remain sidelined.
West Ham will check on the fitness of goalkeeper Alphonse Areola and striker Gianluca Scamacca, who both missed the FA Cup victory over Brentford. Defender Kurt Zouma continues his recovery from a knee injury, while Vladimir Coufal is a doubt.
head to head
Lopetegui said he had enjoyed “a good meeting” and “very interesting talk” with former top referee Howard Webb after the VAR issues his side suffered in the FA Cup draw with Liverpool, adding “sometimes we agree and sometimes not but it was very polite”.
He said Wolves had a few niggles after the midweek Carabao Cup defeat at Nottingham Forest and that Diego Costa had trained “a little bit” on Friday but Lopetegui was unsure if he would be ready to face the Hammers.
The Spaniard spoke of his respect for West Ham boss David Moyes, who he knew from the Scot’s time managing Real Sociedad in La Liga, calling him “a fantastic coach” that he has a “very good relationship” with.
He said prospective new signing Mario Lemina would help Wolves in a “problem position” in central midfield, adding the former Southampton midfielder “has the profile to be able to help us improve in the next matches”.
Lopetegui said his aim by the end of the transfer window is to build a squad with two players in each position because “inside [internal] competition is key to keep the level high” and is “healthy for the team”.
While being happy with the team’s start under his stewardship, he added “it is not enough – we have to continue working a lot, we always have to stay at our best level”.
MATCH FACTS & STATS
- Wolves have lost four of the past five Premier League meetings but did win the most recent encounter at Molineux in November 2021.
- West Ham could beat Wolves in three consecutive league matches for the first time since a run of eight between 1920 and 1958.
- Wolves have four points from Julen Lopetegui’s first three league games in charge, as many as they had managed in their previous nine.
- However, they’ve suffered four successive Premier League home defeats, their worst such run since a nine-match streak in 2012.
- Their tally of 11 league goals this season is the worst in the division, while they have only managed three in the second half.
- Raul Jimenez has four goals in six Premier League starts against West Ham, but is currently on a run of 12 league appearances without a goal.
West Ham United
- West Ham could go seven Premier League games without a win for the first time since February 2020.
- The Hammers can also equal their club record of conceding multiple goals in six consecutive matches.
- David Moyes’ side have only scored six league goals away from home this season – all scored by different players.
- Jarrod Bowen has four goals in his last five Premier League appearances against Wolves.
- Gianluca Scamacca scored his first Premier League goal in the reverse fixture – he could score home and away against the same opponent in a single season for the first time in his career.
Referee: Simon Hooper. Assistants: Adrian Holmes, Mark Scholes. Fourth official: Craig Pawson. VAR: David Coote. Assistant VAR: Richard West.
The match kicks off Saturday 14th January at 3pm at Molineux