Crystal Palace v Wolves: Low-scoring clash likely between out of form sides

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson
Roy Hodgson's Crystal Palace were beaten by West Ham on Tuesday

Crystal Palace host Wolves this weekend and Simon Mail thinks goals could be in short supply at Selhurst Park...

"Both teams have struggled for goals this season and it would be no surprise if this resulted in a low-scoring game. Wolves have only managed 21 goals in 20 games while Palace are only marginally better with 24 goals."

Crystal Palace v Wolves
Saturday, 15:00
Live on Sky Sports Premier League

Palace looking to halt slide

Crystal Palace appear to be meandering to a mid-table Premier League finish with little chance of Roy Hodgson's side challenging for Europe or being dragged into a relegation fight. The Eagles are 14th but have a ten-point buffer over third-bottom Fulham and it is very difficult to see them being caught by the teams most at risk of going down. Little wonder that Betfair Exchange punters make Palace 12.011/1 to suffer relegation.

Hodgson will be more concerned with finding some form after a poor recent run. The Eagles have only won one of their last nine league games and this came at home to bottom side Sheffield United. Palace were knocked out of the FA Cup at this weekend's opponents Wolves and have lost their last two league games. A 4-0 defeat at leaders Manchester City was followed by a 3-2 defeat at home to West Ham on Tuesday. Despite a third-minute opener from Wilfried Zaha, Palace were beaten by the in-form Hammers as they lost their ninth game of the campaign.

Wolves struggling to find form

Wolves have finished seventh the last two seasons but Nuno Espirito Santo will have his work cut out to repeat that this year. The side are only above opponents Palace on goal difference after a disappointing first half of the campaign. Wolves have been short of inspiration and a mid-table finish is looking likely.

The departure of Diogo Jota to Liverpool last summer was a big loss and the injury to striker Raul Jimenez has significantly weakened their attack. Jimenez is still recovering from the fractured skull suffered against Arsenal in November.

Wolves have not won in the league since the middle of December - a run stretching seven games.

The team defended solidly on Wednesday in their goalless draw at Thomas Tuchel's new team Chelsea but their lack of punch in the final third was again evident.

Nuno Santo Wolves 1280.jpg

Betting suggests tight affair

Wolves are slight favourites at 2.747/4 but it is difficult to have huge faith in the visitors. With just six wins from 20 games, Wolves have struggled for consistency and they look short enough for this game. Wolves beat Palace 2-0 in October but their recent form makes them hard to trust.

Hosts Crystal Palace have hardly been convincing either though and there is no interest in siding with them at 3.02/1. Hodgson's side have managed just three wins from ten home league games and have a poor record against Wolves. They have won only one of their last six meetings and do not bring any momentum into their latest contest.

The draw is currently around 3.211/5 and it is arguably the best option between two closely-matched sides. These teams, who can hardly be separated in the standings, have found wins hard to come by lately and there is every chance they could cancel each other out at Selhurst Park. Wolves' last two away games in the competition have ended in a draw and it is worth backing them to be held again this weekend.

Goals could be scarce at Selhurst Park

Both teams have struggled for goals this season and it would be no surprise if this resulted in a low-scoring game. Wolves have only managed 21 goals in 20 games while Palace are only marginally better with 24 goals. The odds on under 2.5 goals are predictably short though at 1.618/13 so preference is for backing no in the both teams to score market at 1.910/11.

Six of Crystal Palace's last eight matches in all competitions have seen at least one team fail to score. It is also worth noting five of the last six clashes between Wolves and Palace have seen one side keep a clean sheet. Using Betfair's Same Game Multi, a £10 bet will secure a free bet for the same amount. One option worth considering is combining each team to score under 1.5 goals at 1.86.

Opta Stat

Crystal Palace forward Zaha has scored nine goals in 17 Premier League appearances this season. The attacker is 2/1 to find the net against Wolves.

Follow Simon's bets on Twitter @watfordtipster

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