- Wolves v Crystal Palace
- Tuesday April 15 2023, 12:45 ET
- At Molineux
Crystal Palace is in excellent form under new-old manager Roy Hodgson and I expect it will do enough to earn a draw at Molineux on Tuesday.
Who do Bettors Favor?
As we can see by checking out the best-rated online sportsbooks bettors favor the home team here, with Wolves rated as a +130 chance to win this game. There is not much to choose between the draw and the visiting team according to the markets, with both priced at around +226.
|Wolves v Crystal Palace|
Wolves With Work To Do
After a disappointing season, Wolverhampton Wanderers is on course to avoid relegation to the Championship, but there is still work to do for Julen Lopetegui’s men.
Three games without a win against Newcastle, Nottingham Forest and Leeds had left Wolves facing an increasingly desperate relegation fight, but that run came to an end with a morale-boosting 1-0 victory against Chelsea, which was followed by a 2-0 success against Brentford.
Six points and two clean sheets represented a timely revival, but in the final few weeks of the season, the situation can change dramatically and Lopetegui will be desperately disappointed that his players couldn’t hang on for at least a point against Leicester at the weekend, having taken an early lead. The 2-1 loss enabled Leicester to move out of the relegation zone and leaves Wolves still a win or two short of safety.
There are some tough games remaining on the Wolves schedule so a win in front of the home fans on Tuesday night would ease nerves considerably.
Crystal Palace Looking Up Not Down
The turnaround at Crystal Palace under Roy Hodgson has been remarkable. The draw against Everton at the weekend ended the team’s winning streak, but it has still managed to gather 10 points from its last four, catapulting the Eagles out of relegation danger.
A 2-1 victory over struggling Leicester was followed by a 5-1 demolition of Leeds United and then a hard-fought 2-0 win at Southampton. By those standards, the Everton game was a disappointment, but the point gained in that match took Palace to 37 points and virtual safety.
Indeed, another win or two and Palace fans could be looking up the table rather than down it. The club is only two points behind Chelsea in the Premier League table and only seven points behind tenth-placed Brentford, with six games to go.
More significantly, Palace has already passed the average number of points needed to stay in the Premier League, which is 36. Since the Premier League expanded to 20 clubs in the 1995/96 season, 35.2 points is the minimum average total required for survival. Only four teams have gone down having secured 37 points in that total, and Palace is already on that mark.
EPL Betting Head-to-Head
The head-to-head record between Wolves and Crystal Palace goes back to 1909 when the two teams met for the first time in an FA Cup tie. That game ended in a 2-2 draw, with Palace winning the replay 4-2, and the rivalry has been pretty much even ever since then.
Overall, Wolves has won 29 of these matches, with Palace on 25 and 19 have been drawn. Until recently, neither team had been able to win more than three in a row against the other, but that came to an end in October last year when Palace beat Wolves 2-1 to record its fourth successive victory over the West Midland club.
EPL Team News
For Wolves, long-term injury absentees Sasa Kalajdzic and Chiquinho are not expected back before the end of the season, and there was an additional name on the injured list after the weekend’s game against Leicester, as Mario Lemina came off with a thigh injury at half-time.
The good news for Julen Lopetegui is that Diego Costa and Ruben Neves are both back in action, as is full-back Jonny, while Boubacare Traore was fit enough to make the subs bench and may start here.
The team news for Crystal Palace remains the same as it was at the weekend, with three players still on the injury list. Wilfried Zaha and Nathan Ferguson are both out, with a groin strain and a muscle tear respectively, although the club is optimistic that Zaha may be back in action before the end of April. Nathaniel Clyne picked up a knee injury against Southampton and will also miss out here.
EPL Match Betting Pick
Wolves has won five of its seven home games this year, including wins over Liverpool and Chelsea, so home fans will be anticipating a good showing. But it is up against in-form opponents and a wily coach in Hodgson, who will be fully focused on ensuring that Palace continues to grind out enough points to make relegation an impossibility. Both teams have been among the goals recently, but I expect this game to have a different feel to it, and the draw looks the best betting pick.