Chris Sutton has predicted that West Ham will get started on a winning streak when they face Fulham in the Premier League this weekend.
The Hammers comfortably registered a badly-needed victory over struggling Wolves last week, with Gianluca Scamacca and Jarrod Bowen scoring their first Premier League goals of the season, before the former netted again in the 1-0 win at Anderlecht on Thursday night (6 October).
Sutton believes they will add to that run when the Cottagers visit the London Stadium on Sunday (9 October) with a 2-1 win, although the visitors’ Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic being fit to play could change that.
For his BBC Sport predictions this week he said: “West Ham got over the line against Wolves last week with a much-needed win, after Jarrod Bowen got off the mark with his first league goal of the season.
“The Hammers may have a bit of momentum now, but this is where we will find out.
“As for Fulham, what kind of threat they pose will depend on whether Aleksandar Mitrovic is fit after he was injured against Newcastle last week.”
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Hibs and Scotland defender Ryan Porteous is up against Sutton for this round of games and expects the same scoreline, but with the same caveat. He said: “West Ham are at home and I think they will edge it, although Mitrovic will have a say in that if he plays.”
The early weeks of the season certainly haven’t gone to plan but two victories in a week and no goals conceded, plus encouraging signs that Scamacca is starting to get comfortable, suggest a recovery may have begun.
Fulham are all the way up in eighth place in the table, but despite the Hammers’ poor start to the year they are only four points behind them.
If Mitrovic plays then it will certainly be a different proposition, but not an insurmountable one either way, so a second consecutive win has to be the aim.
Whether anyone from the Europa Conference League game managed to play themselves into consideration will be interesting to see, as Flynn Downes had a decent game despite seeing just a single minute of action in the league, and Alphonse Areola rescued the win with an excellent late save.
Scamacca surely has to start now that he has broken his duck in the top flight and added the winner in mid-week.
The Irons need to capitalise on any momentum he is building up as the investment looks like it is starting to pay dividends.