Wolverhampton vs Crystal Palace Preview, Betting Tips and Odds

Wolverhampton vs Crystal Palace Preview, Betting Tips and Odds

Wolverhampton vs Crystal Palace predictions for Monday’s Premier League clash at Molineux.

Wolves need to push ahead of milestone
Later this week will be the first anniversary of the start of Wolves’ 2019/20 campaign. They kicked off their Europa League qualifiers on July 25 last year, with that competition not due to be wrapped up for another month. It’s been a long campaign for Nuno Espirito Santo and his team, but they’re going to have to keep going for another month if they want Champions League football.

Wolves’ only chance of making it into Europe’s elite competition is by winning the Europa League in August. That’s after their 1-1 draw at Burnley, a result which leaves them six points shy of the top five with two games left. A top-six finish is the best they can hope for, with their place in next season’s Europa League still not certain.

That leaves Wolves needing the points against Crystal Palace on Monday night, with the Eagles essentially checked out of the current Premier League campaign. While it’s hard to blame them, this Wolves side is intense and can overpower any side who aren’t fully prepared ahead of a visit to Molineux.

Palace going nowhere
Wolves may have been in action for a year, but it’s Palace who look the most jaded out of these two teams. The Eagles returned to action with a 2-0 win at Bournemouth, which saw them secure their Premier League place after moving onto 42 points. The significance of that must have been repeated to the Palace players, as they haven’t looked anywhere near as motivated since.

Crystal Palace has lost their last six Premier League matches, failing to score in five of those fixtures. This is their worst run since starting the 2017/18 season with seven straight defeats, which brought Franck de Boer’s sacking and Roy Hodgson’s arrival at the club. While another defeat wouldn’t bring the same panic that they had back in 2017, there are reasons to fear for the Eagles here.

Palace has lost eight times on the road this season, three of which have come since lockdown. Each of those three successive defeats has come by at least two goals, losing 9-0 on aggregate. The Eagles have now lost five of seven trips to the top eight, while they’ve failed to score in almost half of their matches on the road.

Wolves’ quality to show
Palace has made a habit of heavy defeats, suffering four defeats by two goals or more since returning. Only two of their eight away losses have come by a single goal, while Palace has lost by two or more on 10 occasions in the Premier League this season. They’ve conceded 2.5 goals per game across their last six, scoring in only one of those matches.

Palace is unlikely to make much headway against a strong Wolves defence. Five of their seven home wins have come to nil, while only three of those seven have seen them win by a single goal. The hosts aren’t only a defensive side, as they have attacking threats to call upon going forward. They’ve scored twice or more in all but two of their 14 league wins this season. 10 of their goals at home have come against the bottom six, with seventh-bottom Palace playing as badly as any side at the bottom.

Given that form, we think that Wolves can win this clash comfortably. They are approaching the game with very different mentalities, while there’s an obvious gulf in quality. We are backing Wolves to win this one with a -1 handicap, given Palace’s recent heavy defeats. Meanwhile, we’re backing a 3-0 victory given the Eagles’ leaky backline, while this one looks perfectly set up for forwarding Raul Jimenez to add to his tally for the campaign.

Key battle: Raul Jimenez vs Mamadou Sakho
Crystal Palace are among the many sides who have defensive injury concerns after a demanding schedule. That’s left pressure on Mamadou Sakho to carry the side at the back, but he’s in for a test against the league’s best pure number nine.

Raul Jimenez has scored 26 goals in all competitions for Wolves this season – the last player to score more in a season for the club was Steve Bull in the 1990-91 season (27 goals). The Mexican is a physical and technical threat, while his ability to find the net in impressive. He’s scored in each of their last two games and we see him threatening here.

Palace has shipped 15 goals in seven games, while they’ve been a gift to forwards since the restart. Mo Salah, Jamie Vardy, Olivier Giroud, Tammy Abraham, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford have all scored against Palace since returning. That’s a big issue for the Eagles, who have conceded almost 16 shots per game on the road this term. Given how clinical a finisher the Wolves forward is, we are going with Jimenez as our anytime goalscorer prediction ahead of this clash.

Wolves vs Crystal Palace team news
The hosts have a full-strength side available to them once again. Adama Traore has delayed surgery on his dislocated shoulder until after the end of the season, which leaves him available to start out wide for the hosts.

Wolves predicted line-up: Patricio – Boly, Coady, Saiss – Doherty, Neves, Moutinho, Jonny – Traore, Jimenez, Jota

Unlike Wolves, Palace have major selection issues going into this clash. They’ve lost defenders Gary Cahill, James Tomkins, Martin Kelly and Patrick van Aanholt. Christian Benteke is suspended for the rest of the season, leaving Palace considering turning to youth to fill out their squad for their penultimate game.

Crystal Palace predicted line-up: Guaita – Ward, Dann, Sakho, Mitchell – Townsend, McArthur, Milivojevic, McCarthy, Zaha – Ayew
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