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Wolves’ slim hopes of qualifying for the Champions League have been dealt a blow over the last week after they suffered back-to-back defeats in London away at Arsenal and West Ham United.
Bruno Lage‘s men, who registered only one of their 14 shots on target, were condemned to their 10th league defeat of the season by the Hammers when Tomas Soucek tapped in from close range on the hour mark.
The Wanderers have now slipped out of the European places and down to eighth, seven points behind Manchester United in fourth with a game in hand on the Red Devils, though both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur in sixth and seventh place respectively have played at least a game less than Lage’s side.
Wolves will fancy their chances of returning to winning ways against a team in the bottom half of the table; however, they have lost their last two league matches against Saturday’s opponents Crystal Palace without scoring.
The Wanderers – who have only netted 10 times at Molineux this season, with only Norwich City having scored fewer on home soil – could secure successive home league wins for the first time since November if they were to claim maximum points this weekend.
Patrick Vieira‘s men have made themselves difficult to beat in recent weeks, losing only one of their last seven games across all competitions; however, in the Premier League they have won just one of their last eight, a 4-1 win at Watford being their only success since the turn of the year.
Palace, who are undefeated in their last four league games on the road, head to Molineux on Saturday having already beaten Wolves this season, with goals from Wilfried Zaha and Conor Gallagher securing a 2-0 win at Selhurst Park in November. However, the Eagles have lost their last three visits at the Wanderers without scoring.
With challenging fixtures against Manchester City and Arsenal either side of an encounter against a resurgent Newcastle United outfit to come, Vieira will be keen for his team to come away with at least a point against Wolves to keep spirits high and boost their hopes of finishing in the top half for the first time since 2014
Wolves right wing-back Nelson Semedo is sidelined with a hamstring injury, so Ki-Jana Hoever, who started against West Ham, is set to retain his place in the first XI.
Lage made five changes to his starting lineup last weekend, with Raul Jimenez, Daniel Podence and Joao Moutinho all dropping to the bench; however the trio are expected to return on Saturday at the expense of Fabio Silva, Francisco Trincao and Leander Dendoncker respectively.
Fernando Marcal will be battling to keep his place at left wing-back ahead of Rayan Ait-Nouri, while Pedro Neto will be pushing to start his first game of the season, after coming off the bench three times since recovering from a knee injury.
As for Crystal Palace, they will still be without Nathan Ferguson due to a hamstring injury, while Joel Ward‘s groin problem will be assessed ahead of kickoff.
Eighteen-year-old Tayo Adaramola started his first senior game for the Eagles in midweek, but the left-back is set to be replaced by Tyrick Mitchell, joining Nathaniel Clyne, Joachim Andersen and Marc Guehi in the back four.
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Wilfried Zaha, who started against Burnley as a central striker, and Michael Olise are set to play on the flanks, with Odsonne Edouard, Christian Benteke and Jean-Philippe Mateta all competing to start as the lone striker.
Gallagher and Luka Milivojevic both began on the bench in midweek but the midfield pair will likely replace Kouyate and Will Hughes in the first XI.
Wolverhampton Wanderers possible starting lineup:
Sa; Kilman, Coady, Saiss; Hoever, Moutinho, Neves, Marcal; Podence, Jimenez, Hee-Chan
Crystal Palace possible starting lineup:
Butland; Clyne, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell; McArthur, Milivojevic, Gallagher; Olise, Edouard, Zaha