Wolverhampton Wanderers Training Session

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Predicted Wolves XI vs West Ham

Wolves face West Ham United this evening – and it is a huge game in the Premier League.

Wanderers have got off to a poor starting, taking just six points from their first seven games.

It’s just one win in the competition so far, with Wolves struggling in the final third once again.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

Bruno Lage is a man under pressure, and anything less than three points down in the capital will result in more calls for his position to come under serious review.

Like Wolves, West Ham have also struggled so far.

The Irons have also only hit three goals in the league and won one game.

David Moyes will no doubt see Wolves as an opportunity for his side to get back on track, but Lage should see the game the exact same way for his side/

Having had nearly two weeks to think about it, here’s an XI the manager could go with this evening…

Predicted Wolves XI to face West Ham – Hwang Hee-chan to lead the line, Diego Costa on the bench

Jose Sa will no doubt continue in goal, and it will be interesting to see what backline Lage goes with in London.

The manager will need to make one change, with Nathan Collins serving a three-game ban for his challenge on Jack Grealish against Manchester City.

It would be good to see Toti Gomes come in alongside Maximilian Kilman for his first minutes of the season.

He did well across his five appearances last term, and deserves a chance. Should he get the nod, then Kilman may shift over to the right.

Nelson Semedo simply has to start at right-back. He’s looked really good with what little minutes he’s had so far this term.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

And on the left, perhaps Jonny Castro Otto should feature. If Toti is going to play left side, then perhaps it’s better to have a more experienced option playing next to him in Jonny than Rayan Ait-Nouri.

In midfield, it’s hard to see Lage making any changes.

There has been some clamour for Boubacar Traore to start following a bright cameo against City.

But Ruben Neves and Matheus Nunes are nailed on starters. And Joao Moutinho was not called up by Portugal over the international break. So the veteran has had a chance to rest up.

Lage loves Moutinho and will likely be reluctant to take him out, especially given the fact he hasn’t featured for his country.

All eyes will be on the Wolves attack come 4.30pm when the team news comes through.

Many will want to see Diego Costa from the start, but it is perhaps unlikely.

At the end of the day, he hasn’t played at all in 2022, and it would be a bit risky to throw him straight in. Wolves surely want to break him in gently – the last thing the club needs is him getting injured.

Raul Jimenez has also been struggling with his groin issue and so the manager may go with Goncalo Guedes to lead the line.

Lage yesterday said that Hwang Hee-chan came back from international break with an injury and will not be available for selection.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

So Guedes could be deployed through the middle, with Costa to come on in the second-half.

Out wide, we may see Daniel Podence and Adama Traore.

Pedro Neto has been in poor form so it would be a real surprise to see him starting this match.

Spaniard Traore is yet to start in the Premier League this season, and it just feels like Wolves need a bit of fresh impetus in attack. This could be a good game for Traore.

Wolves (4-3-3): Sa/Semedo, Kilman, Toti, Jonny/Neves, Nunes, Moutinho/Podence, Guedes, Traore.