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Match Previews

Palace Preview: Well-matched Palace and Wolves vie for potential second-place

29 October 2020

Both Crystal Palace and Wolverhampton Wanderers could sit second in the Premier League table by the end of tonight. Both could, in theory, even sit top.

Each outcome would require significant victories (a three-goal win for second, seven for first; Wolves would need a four- or eight-goal win respectively), but the two sides are in unique positions as the only competitors playing before the weekend.

The clash could provide something of a viewing spectacle, too, with Palace and Wolves both enjoying similar starts to the season - collecting 10 points each from six matches.

The Eagles edge Wolves by a goal difference of one (-1 and -2), but the Midlands outfit are enjoying their best Premier League opening ever. For Palace, the first six games of 2016/17 were only more successful by goal difference, although the record of three wins and a draw is identical.

The seventh match that season saw a draw with Everton and then seven consecutive defeats followed until December. However this season Palace can take courage from their upcoming run, which sees them face Wolves, Leeds United, Burnley, Newcastle United and West Bromwich Albion consecutively. 

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Roy Hodgson’s men will no doubt view this spell as crucial in collecting points before a challenging Christmas, when they will face Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Leicester City, Arsenal and Manchester City within a month. In-form Aston Villa and West Ham United will also provide opponents alongside Sheffield United.

Clearly, then, taking recent success into the Wolves clash will be important - and Palace’s 2-1 Fulham victory will encourage players after returning to winning ways.

Looking at recent history between the two sides, Palace have taken four points from the last three meetings - winning once, drawing once and losing twice since Wolves’ return to the top-flight in 18/19. Victory came at Molineux in January 2019.

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Did you know?

Since the start of the 2018/19 campaign, Wolves’ Raúl Jiménez has been directly involved in a higher share of his team’s goals (45% - 47 of 104) than any other player to appear in all three campaigns during this period.

Match Reports

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However, Jiménez has played 331 Premier League minutes against Palace without scoring – only against Leicester (360) and Manchester United (358) has he registered more minutes without a goal in the competition.

Tactical overview

It is imperative that Palace continue to shut Jiménez out, with the frontman bagging four goals from six league games, including two from his last two. In fact, with Wolves only scoring six times so far, he is responsible for 66% of their goals.

This is not dissimilar to Wilfried Zaha, who has netted five goals from six league games and earned an assist, too - playing a part in 75% of Palace’s eight goals. One more goal or assist and Zaha will have levelled his total from 2019/20 after just seven games.

The Ivorian isn’t only leading the way for goals, however, with his general attacking stats standing out: he is top for Palace’s shots on target, attempted dribbles and fouls won. Wolves’ adept back three will have a challenge on their hand if they are to contain him.

Team news

After picking up an injury on international duty, James McCarthy has returned to training this week, plus Gary Cahill and James Tomkins are fully fit for the game. Furthermore, following positive COVID-19 tests, Jordan Ayew and Jack Butland are both available and amongst the squad following their periods of self-isolation.

The Eagles will be without the long-term injured players in Wayne Hennessey and Connor Wickham, whilst Hodgson has also suggested the trip to Molineux comes too soon for Joel Ward.

Tyrick Mitchell will be subject to a late fitness test, and will be assessed before the squad travel after taking a knock in training.

Wolves appear to be relatively strong on the fitness front, with Jonny looking like their only long-term absentee.

How to follow

On TV

Wolves v Palace will be shown live in the UK via BT Sport Box Office. Full details can be found here.

First Team

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Crystal Palace full match information - including how to watch

30 October 2020

Palace Audio

Palace supporters all over the world can listen to live audio commentary of every Palace fixture in the 2020/21 season for just £1.49 per game on the official club app, mobile internet or on desktop.

Fans can buy a 24-Hour Pass (for a single matchday) for £1.49 by clicking here

Find out more about Palace Audio here

Social media

You can check out our Instagram story for all of the pre-match build-up and our official Twitter page is bringing you up-to-the-minute match updates, eye catching photos and more.

Our club website, cpfc.co.uk, is the place to go for team news on the dot, an instant report and all the post-match votes.

The official app

The official Palace app’s match centre is the place to be for everything you need during the Wolves clash. With live stats and alerts, a running match commentary feed and lineups the moment they’re released as well as all an instant match report and post-match reaction from Palace TV, there’s no need to leave the app to follow the Eagles’ efforts.

Download our app for free here!

International fans

For fans following from abroad, have a look at our Worldwide TV Listings here.

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