West Ham United were unbeaten on their travels at the start of last season until they visited Molineux on 19 November. It’s a completely different story this campaign the Hammers have only tasted victory on the road once and will attempt to earn a second success when they face Wolverhampton Wanderers this afternoon.
If they do conjure up a first top-flight triumph on the road since August 28, it would mean that they have also achieved their first double of the 2022/23 campaign, having beaten the men from The Black Country 2-0 in the reverse fixture back on October 1. That match also brought an end to Bruno Lage’s reign as Head-Coach and after the break for the Qatar World Cup, the Portuguese was replaced by former Spain, Real Madrid and Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui.
David Moyes’ side will be keen to follow up their FA Cup victory over Brentford a week ago and will also hope to continue their positive start to the New Year having also picked up a valuable point at Leeds United.
The Hammers remain in seventeenth place in the table ahead of this game but a win here would see them move further clear of the relegation zone.
The visitors have had a full week to prepare for this crucial match after booking their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup, whereas Lopetegui’s men were in action on Wednesday night, as they lost their Carabao Cup quarter-final tie to fellow Premier League side Nottingham Forest on penalties. Not only that, following on from this game, they then turn their attention back to the FA Cup, where they will try to finish the job off against Liverpool in a third round replay on Tuesday, after the original tie at Anfield seven days ago ended in a 2-2 draw.
Gianluca Scamacca will hope to be back in the starting line-up after missing the tie at The Gtech Community Stadium due to injury, while goalkeeper Alphonse Areola will also hope to be back amongst the nine substitutes, as he also suffered a minor problem. Aaron Cresswell is hoping to regain his place in defence after being dropped to the bench for the trip to Leeds on January 4, while Moyes gave Angelo Ogbonna a rare start against the Bees last weekend.
Nayef Aguerd made his first start in Yorkshire in the last top-flight encounter and he is hoping for a second consecutive league start. Saïd Benrahma scored the goal that secured the win over his former club Brentford seven days ago and he will be desperate to remain in the side for the trip to Molineux.
The Scotsman may decide to include some of the club’s youngsters on the bench but one player that will not feature is Thierry Nevers, as he has joined Sky Bet League Two side Bradford City on a loan deal for the remainder of the current season.
The match is a 3pm kick-off and the referee is Simon Hooper.