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Preview: Wolves

31 December 2012


Crystal Palace celebrate the New Year at Selhurst Park by welcoming Wolverhampton Wanderers. With the festive fixtures ensuring the games comes thick and fast, this match is set to test both the character and physical fitness of both sides, neither of whom have enjoyed the best run of results of late.
Stale Solbakken's side fell victim of Palace's exceptional form early in October when a Wilfried Zaha brace secured an impressive 2-1 victory at the Molineux. 
Tipped as early season favourites for an immediate return to the Premier League following last year's relegation, Wolves have yet to kick-start their season with only three wins in their last 10 matches. 
Despite boasting an impressive strike force, with the likes of Kevin Doyle and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, the Midlands outfit have found scoring a difficult task this season, netting only 31 goals with the latter their top scorer with nine goals. 
Team News: 

Palace: Defender Damien Delaney will serve the last of his third match ban following his sending off against Huddersfield, Joel Ward remains out with a groin injury.
Wolves: Slawomir Peszko and Razak Boukari are still sidelined but nearing returns later this month after lengthy spells on the sidelines. 

Previous home encounters with Wolves by Ian King

We first met in League opposition over ninety years ago in our first ever season in Division Two and Wolves were the visitors to our previous ground at The Nest, which used to be opposite Selhurst Station, on Saturday 19th November 1921 when a goal from Bert Menlove was sufficient to earn a point for Palace and on Wolves’ first visit to Selhurst Park Palace claimed both the points with a 2-1 victory on 13th December 1924, the Palace goals coming from Tom Hoddinott and Bill Hand.

It would be over forty years later that the Wolves would return to SE25 for League action on Saturday 9th April 1966 when they inflicted a single goal defeat but the following season Palace won 4-1 on the final day of the Second Division season on 13th May 1967 that denied Wanderers the championship outright from Coventry City - that was not our best home victory for that occurred back in 1923 to the tune of 5-0. We have faced Wolves twenty-five times in League action at home, the majority at this level, and the results are evenly spread there being eight victories each to Palace and Wolves with nine drawn games and the barometer currently swung in visitors direction with the Eagles recording just two home victories in the past ten fixtures.

A dramatic Division One play-off semi-final first leg took place here on May 10th 1997 when, in the last few minutes and leading 1-0, substitute Dougie Freedman added a second goal for the Eagles only for Wolves to claw one immediately back through Jamie Smith but Dougie then scored again to give Palace a 3-1 advantage to take to Molineux and subsequently a final against Sheffield United.

There have been four Cup ties played between us in this part of South London. Back in the club’s formative years, which was in the Southern League Division One, it caused a famous upset in the F.A. Cup winning 4-2 in a replay at The Crystal Palace in January 1909. A fifth round tie in February 1979 went to Wolves but there are no doubt many who remember Danny Butterfield’s stunning and unexpected hat-trick here in a Fourth Round replay on February 2nd 2010, the quickest hat-trick ever by a Palace player.

A Third Round Football League Cup tie between the clubs at Selhurst Park on 25th September 1979 that Wolves won by 2-1, the Palace goal being scored by Mike Flanagan.

It was back on the atrocious evening of 3rd March 2009 that Championship leaders Wolves last visited Selhurst Park to face a mid-table Palace team for a fixture played in strong winds and curtains of rain. The outcome of a somewhat mediocre game between two sides short of form hinged on a dubious penalty award in the seventy-fifth minute to the visitors that was converted by Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, an incensed Palace manager Neil Warnock letting his feelings rip in the post match interview!
Match Officials:
Referee: Andy D'Urso 
Assistants: Robert Whitton and Adam Crysell 
Fourth Official: Tim Robinson 
Head to Head Record: (Home and Away)
                                         Palace Wins          Draws           Wolves Wins 
League                                  15                       15                          21
League Cup                           0                          0                            1 
FA Cup                                 3                           3                            2 
Total                                    18                         18                          24 


This match is on general sale as a Category B match with ticket prices available here.


With the new year approaching, why not use some of those left over pounds and put your money on the Eagles. Here are some of our punts:

Palace to win 2-0 is 8/1
Wolves to be winning at half time and Palace to win at full time is 20/1

Click here for further odds from Bet Butler. 

Live Match Commentary: 

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