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Preview: Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Crystal Palace - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's Premier League clash between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Crystal Palace, including team news and predicted lineups.

Wolverhampton Wanderers will be looking to return to winning ways in the Premier League when they continue their 2020-21 campaign at home to Crystal Palace on Friday night.

Nuno Espirito Santo's side were held to a 1-1 draw by Newcastle United last weekend, but Palace picked up all three points away to struggling Fulham in their last game.


Match preview

Pedro Neto celebrates scoring for Wolverhampton Wanderers against Fulham on October 4, 2020© Reuters

Wolves have struggled for consistency in the early stages of the campaign, but a respectable total of 10 points from six matches has left them in ninth spot in the table, only three points off leaders Everton.

Three straight defeats in all competitions between September 17 and September 27 saw questions asked of the team but positive results have arrived in their last three fixtures.

Indeed, back-to-back 1-0 wins over Fulham and Leeds United either side of the international break saw them rise up the table, before they picked up another point at home to Newcastle last weekend. Nuno's side were so close to securing all three points, but Jacob Murphy came up with an 89th-minute leveller at Molineux.

Wolves will view Friday's clash with Palace as the ideal opportunity to return to winning ways, and it is a very interesting period of the season considering that three of their next five in the Premier League are against Leicester City, Arsenal and Liverpool.

The 2017-18 Championship winners recorded a 2-0 win over Palace in the corresponding game last season, but Wolves did suffer a 2-0 loss in this exact fixture in 2018-19.

Jairo Riedewald celebrates scoring for Crystal Palace against Fulham in the Premier League on October 24, 2020© Reuters

Palace, meanwhile, will enter the match off the back of an important 2-1 victory at Fulham last weekend. Jairo Riedewald and Wilfried Zaha scored the goals for the Eagles, who currently occupy eighth spot in the table with 10 points to show from their six fixtures, above Wolves on goal difference.

Roy Hodgson's side started the season with back-to-back wins over Southampton and Manchester United before losing their next two at home to Everton and away to Chelsea.

The capital outfit then played out a 1-1 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion after the international break before returning to winning ways at Craven Cottage to climb up the table.

There is no question that last season's 14th-place finish was a disappointment for Palace, and they have actually not finished higher than 11th in England's top flight since 2014-15.

Zaha has started the season in impressive fashion, though, and the 27-year-old will be determined to help Hodgson's side push towards the top half of the division this term.

Wolverhampton Wanderers Premier League form: WLLWWD
Wolverhampton Wanderers form (all competitions): LLLWWD

Crystal Palace Premier League form: WWLLDW
Crystal Palace form (all competitions): LWLLDW


Team News

Jonny Castro in action for Wolverhampton Wanderers on January 29, 2019© Reuters

Wolves are in excellent shape at the moment in terms of injuries, with only Spanish defender Jonny Castro currently on the sidelines and therefore unavailable for selection for this game.

Nuno has plenty of options for change, and it would not be a surprise to see Fernando Marcal come into the starting XI at the expense of Romain Saiss.

Adama Traore is also pushing for a spot in the final third of the field, although Daniel Podence and Pedro Neto could again get the nod alongside Raul Jimenez. Joao Moutinho, meanwhile, is an option for change in the middle of the park, indicating the strength of the home side's squad.

As for Palace, Nathan Ferguson, Wayne Hennessey and Conor Wickham are confirmed absentees for Friday's contest, while Joel Ward is also expected to miss out through injury.

Both James McCarthy and James Tomkins have returned to training this week, though, and could be involved, while key centre-back Gary Cahill is also fit for Friday's clash with Nuno's side.

Riedewald had emerged as a doubt after picking up a knock against Fulham, but the 24-year-old should be available for selection and is likely to continue in midfield, while Tyrick Mitchell should shake off a knock that he picked up in training to start at left-back.

Jordan Ayew and Jack Butland, meanwhile, are both available for selection after recently spending time on the sidelines due to positive coronavirus tests.

Wolverhampton Wanderers possible starting lineup:
Patricio; Boly, Coady, Kilman; Marcal, Neves, Dendoncker, Semedo; Podence, Jimenez, Neto

Crystal Palace possible starting lineup:
Guaita; Clyne, Cahill, Dann, Mitchell; Townsend, Milivojevic, Riedewald, Schlupp; Batshuayi, Zaha


SM words green background

We say: Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 Crystal Palace

Palace, despite their injury issues, are certainly capable of making it a difficult game for Wolves, who are still working their way into the new season. We are expecting a tight game at Molineux but believe that the home side will have enough to return to winning ways in the Premier League.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data


Video prediction

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:


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Who will win Friday's Premier League clash between Wolves and Crystal Palace?

Wolves
Draw
Crystal Palace
Wolves
100%
Draw
0.0%
Crystal Palace
0.0%
1
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Jack Butland reacts during an England training session on March 19, 2019
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Tottenham HotspurSpurs106312191221
2Liverpool106312217521
3Chelsea1054122101219
4Leicester CityLeicester96031812618
5Southampton105231916317
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves105231111017
7Everton105141917216
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd95131616016
9Aston Villa85031911815
10Manchester CityMan City94321511415
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham94231510514
12Leeds UnitedLeeds104241517-214
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle104241215-314
14Arsenal104151012-213
15Crystal Palace104151215-313
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton102441416-210
17West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom10136718-116
18Burnley9126417-135
19Fulham9117918-94
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd10019416-121

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