I agreed with those saying the team selection wasn’t right at West Ham.
It’s easy to be critical with hindsight and only Bruno Lage knows who was physically up to starting the game so soon after Arsenal, but Wolves looked weak and disjointed.
The main issue was that you had a lightweight from three who needed balls playing into feet and a midfield that wasn’t cute enough to do it so too often the defence were just booting it long or giving it away.
Assuming the likes of Moutinho, Ait-Nouri and Raul really weren’t up to starting, I would have used Cundle and Jonny (if it were viable) to give us more craft.
With a week to recover we can rightfully expect a more energetic and robust performance tomorrow.
You’ve got to say Palace saw us off comfortably at Selhurst Park in one of the more disappointing performances of the season.
I remember there not being much in the first half, but once they picked up the pace in the second we just went away. It’s no surprise Bruno still cites that defeat as one we mustn’t repeat.
Since then, however, the teams have largely gone in opposite directions with Palace struggling for wins and currently 10 points behind Wolves having played a game more.
But they thumped Watford the other week, took a point off a resurgent Burnley and progressed to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup on Tuesday so there is a bit of momentum building for Patrick Vieira’s men.
They have a fully fit and firing squad to choose from and despite the considerable talents of Eze, Olise, Gallagher and a few others, it’s still Wilf Zaha you feel will make the biggest impact. He’ll once again be the subject of significant transfer speculation this summer as he enters the final year of his contract.
Their away record isn’t great with just two wins from 13 matches, but as referenced above, they did triumph 4-1 at Vicarage Road in the last outing on their travels.
The away end
Some comments lifted from the pre-match thread on a popular Palace forum:
A lot depends on which Wolves team turns up. They were very ordinary at our place in the Autumn. Likewise they struggled the last time we fans were able to see them at their place (0-2 to us with Ayew and a Luka penalty). ON the other hand a Wolves like the one that went on a run around Christmas time would be a very different proposition. I fancy us extending our 2022 unbeaten away run (currently 5 games including the ‘Wall cup tie) so 1-1.
1-1 was my instinct and a result I will happily settle for. Wolves have the ability to be very good on their day and have individuals that can.. individually, change matches (thinking Moutinho long rangers etc.). They are however somewhat inconsistent, I believe we are better than my anxiety ridden mind tends to imagine, and this game is far from a write-off!
If we turn up without a striker again we may as well not turn up at all, Neves and Moutinho will pass us to death. I watched their game against Arsenal and the Lacazette dropping short idea that we’re using Zaha for was completely nullified until they chucked on a host of attackers with him.
Wolves have only scored 10 goals at home in the PL in 12 games and only Norwich have scored less goals on their home patch. Wolves at home have only conceded 10 PL goals and only Man C and Liverpool have conceded less. My prediction is 1-0 to Wolves.
It’s a blow to lose Semedo for at least a month and possibly more. He’s been one of the top performers this season and really thrived under Bruno Lage.
I don’t know if Jonny is up to starting yet but he’d be my preferred choice down the right. Hoever has some good attributes but bad decisions and questionable distribution still mark him out as a potential weak link.
The front three are the attackers who’ve been most effective this season and I thought they caused Arsenal plenty of problems, albeit only scoring once. We need more goals and they give me the most confidence.
Much like Jonny, it’s hard to know how close Pedro is to starting, but he’s a great option to call from the bench.
Last time out
As mentioned above, Palace secured a deserved 2-0 win at Selhurst Park earlier this season courtesy of goals from Conor Gallagher and Wilf Zaha, with Wolves barely threatening at the other end.
Rewind to the start of last season and Wolves comfortably won this fixture with first-half goals from Rayan Ait-Nouri and Daniel Podence in one of the few routine victories in a difficult campaign.
There’s nothing to choose between the sides according to the bookies. Head to online casinos usa for more traditional gambling fun if you’re reading stateside.
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Well done to Adrian who was the only person to correctly predict the 1-0 defeat at the Olympic Stadium. He collects a maximum.
Brompton Wolf is clear at the top of the overall table at the end of Gameweek 26.
As always, if you’d like to join in, it’s simple – just leave your prediction in the comment section below using the boxes provided. Then repeat for every preview article throughout the season, making sure you always use the same email address to make your prediction. Your email is what ties you to your overall score.
You can read my prediction for the game in the comment section below.
Up The Wolves!
Polite request – when commenting in the preview article after the game has finished, can you not place score predictions in the boxes, please? It confuses the system. Many thanks.