Crystal Palace vs Wolves preview: Eze still not ready for Eagles

Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Crystal Palace vs Wolves in the Premier League on Saturday; kick-off 3pm.

Team news

Ebere Eze will again be absent for Crystal Palace when they host Wolves in the Premier League on Saturday.

The 23-year-old stepped up his recovery from an Achilles injury when he played an hour for the Under-23s against Blackburn on Monday, but boss Patrick Vieira has revealed the ex-QPR playmaker needs more minutes before he is in contention.

Defender Nathan Ferguson has also been out with the same issue but is set to take part in some modified first-team training next week.

Wolves remain without several players for their trip to Selhurst Park. Defender Fernando Marcal’s calf injury will keep him out until after the international break.

Full-back Jonny (knee), winger Pedro Neto (knee) and midfielder Yerson Mosquera (hamstring) are not expected to return until next year.

How to follow

Follow Crystal Palace vs Wolves in our dedicated live match blog. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel at 5.15pm.

Also See:

Last time out…

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Wolves’ win over Everton

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Crystal Palace’s win at Manchester City

Jones Knows’ prediction

Crystal Palace are a different animal this season. Patrick Vieira has certainly increased the excitement levels around the place with his progressive style of football. But it did make me laugh slightly that they remain 13th in the Premier League – a position they have made their own.

I’ve got no interest in trying to make a case for either of these two to win as this looks a pure 50-50 game in every aspect. Both will be confident, both will be keen to play at a high tempo. I’ll sit on the fence and hope for the draw.

One of the areas Palace have improved significantly under Vieira is their ability to zip the ball through midfield quicker, led by the busy Conor Gallagher. This could be a problem for Wolves in central midfield with Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho tasked with doing lots of work in that area.

Both players rank in the top 10 of Premier League players this season to be dribbled past by an opponent. Moutinho is a fine technician but at 35 years old, he is starting to get his timing wrong with his challenges. Saying that, he’s only been carded once this season, so we’re getting a bigger price at 4/1 with Sky Bet than the true probability when you factor in the opponent. Central midfielders Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana, Declan Rice, Christian Norgaard and Youri Tielemans have all been booked against Palace this season. Moutinho can follow suit.

SCORE PREDICTION: 1-1

BETTING ANGLE: Joao Moutinho to be shown a card (4/1 with Sky Bet)

Opta stats

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A selection of the key statistics ahead of this week’s Premier League action

Crystal Palace won this exact fixture 1-0 in January last season but haven’t won back-to-back home league games against Wolves since November 1969.Since their return to the Premier League in 2018, Wolves have won four of their seven meetings with Crystal Palace in all competitions (D1 L2), keeping a clean sheet in each victory.Crystal Palace are looking to register consecutive Premier League wins for the first time since January/February, with one of those victories coming at Selhurst Park against Wolves.After having a 10-game unbeaten run in London following their return to the Premier League in 2018 (W5 D5), during which they scored in every game, Wolves have lost four of their last seven league visits to the capital (W2 D1), failing to score on five occasions in that run.Crystal Palace have lost just two of their first 10 Premier League matches this season (W2 D6), their fewest at this stage of a league season since 1996-97 in the second tier (one) and fewest in the top-flight since 1990-91 when they’d lost none and went on to finish third.Crystal Palace have scored the highest proportion of their Premier League goals in the second half of games this season (85% – 11/13). Both of their goals in the opening 45 minutes have been netted by Wilfried Zaha (vs Brighton and Manchester City).Wolves have earned 10 points from their last four away league games (W3 D1), just one fewer than they managed in their previous 15 on the road (W2 D5 L8).Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira is unbeaten in his first five home league matches as Eagles boss (W1 D4), the first manager to remain so in the top-flight with the club. The last Palace manager to lose none of his first six league games on home soil was Ian Holloway in 2012-13 in the Championship (lost none of first 12).Conor Gallagher has the most direct goal involvements (5 – 3 goals, 2 assists), shots (21) and chances created (13) of any Crystal Palace player in the Premier League this season.Raul Jimenez’s four goals and assists have been worth seven points to Wolves in the Premier League this season – only Michail Antonio (9) and Son Heung-min (8) have been more valuable to their sides through goals and assists.

The Essential Football podcast: Manchester derby special

Peter Smith is joined by Sky Sports football journalists Richard Morgan and Ben Grounds to discuss the huge Saturday lunchtime showdown between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford.

PART 1 | How are the two rivals shaping up for the big clash? We weigh up how Man Utd’s injury concerns in defence could affect their approach, while we ask whether Jack Grealish is living up to his big price tag and the reasons behind some inconsistent form from the defending champions. Is this match now a must-win for them with Chelsea pulling clear at the top of the Premier League?

PART 2 | Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a winning record against Pep Guardiola so what’s the secret to his success in this rivalry? And how will the clash go on Saturday? We make our big match predictions!

Win GBP250,000 on Wednesday!

The Champions League returns, with the GBP250,000 Super 6 jackpot up for grabs. Play for free, entries by 7:45.

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