Chris Sutton has predicted the game between West Ham and Wolves on the return from the international break to be the one where the Hammers’ luck turns.
They are currently languishing in the relegation zone, when a summer of strengthening off the back of another strong campaign last year was supposed to take the team to new heights, but a combination of being unfortunate and off form has seen the opposite happen.
BT Sport pundit Sutton thinks the Irons have been doing better than their record suggests and has tipped them to take a narrow 1-0 victory at the London Stadium on Saturday (1 October) because the visitors are goal-shy and new signing Diego Costa won’t be ready to rectify that.
In his BBC Sport predictions column Sutton said: “Diego Costa could make his Wolves debut here, but I think we have to be realistic about what to expect from him.
“This isn’t the Costa we saw at Chelsea, at the peak of his powers. He is 33 now and has not played a competitive game this year.
“Wolves frustrate me because they are a really good team that just doesn’t score enough goals. I could be wrong, but I don’t see Costa changing that.
“West Ham are not exactly prolific either, but I think they deserve more points than they’ve picked up so far and this could be the day where their luck turns.”
David Moyes probably needed the international break to regroup, in contrast to most managers who don’t want to see it break up momentum.
A home game against a team that is also struggling is probably just the fixture that he would have wanted first up before a packed run of 12 more games in the Premier League and Europa Conference League before the World Cup.
Costa is something of a wild card but in his first meaningful action for the best part of a year the Irons have to ensure they are not caught out by any of his old tricks.
If Sutton is frustrated by Wolves then it will be nothing compared to how Hammers fans are frustrated by their own team of late.
It would help if the manager doesn’t send out the same XI that have been largely underperforming recently and gave the likes of Flynn Downes or Maxwel Cornet a run out from the start, since they were signed for a reason.
Even if the replacements don’t light the game up themselves that would at least show Tomas Soucek and others who are short of their best that they need to up their game to keep their place in the team.
Said Benrahma deserves more opportunities, although that’s nothing new, and Gianluca Scamacca is going to need his confidence boosted if he is to avoid Sebastien Haller comparisons, but Moyes certainly needs to be bolder with his team selections to drag this side out of their slump.