Wolves v Crystal Palace
Monday July 20, 20:15
Live on BT Sport 1
Monday night throws up a classic case of a team with something to play for against one with very little at stake.
It's no surprise to see Wolves v Palace priced up accordingly.
Wolves eyeing Europa return
The hosts, who know two wins in their last two games will book a return to the Europa League next season, are just 1.528/15 for the win.
Palace will finish somewhere between 11th and 16th and can be backed at 8.88/1. The draw is at 4.216/5.
It would be difficult not to make Wolves odds-on favourites here, although it could be argued they are a tad too short.
They've won four and drawn one of seven since the season resumed with boss Nuno Espirito Santo managing to rotate his players without losing too much in terms of performance levels.
Jonny and Matt Doherty were both left out against Burnley - a match Wolves drew after conceding a controversial injury-time equaliser - and they may well return here.
Defensive woes for Palace
Palace's form has been much worse. They've lost their last six, five of them without scoring. They've also conceded 15 goals in that miserable run.
Defensive injuries certainly haven't helped with Gary Cahill still out here and James Tomkins unlikely to be fit enough despite a recent return to training.
The Eagles have also now lost reliable left-back Patrick van Aanholt after he dislocated his shoulder against Manchester United, while up front Christian Benteke is suspended.
Palace did at least show some signs of life in that game with United when decisions went against them. They also produced plenty of positives during a 3-2 defeat to Chelsea earlier this month.
If displays in those two games can be replicated at Molineux, Wolves will at least be tested.
Goals at a premium
It seems unlikely to be a game packed with goals. Over 2.5 goals is at 2.3611/8 for a reason - just 39% of Wolves' games have featured three or more goals and only 31% of Palace's. Under 2.5 is at 1.674/6.
The first-half goal stats are even grimmer and potentially hold the key to profit.
Wolves have scored just 27% of their goals in the first half of games. Palace's equivalent figure is 33% and so 2.6613/8 about the game reaching half-time goalless is certainly worthy of consideration.
That has been the score at the break in eight of Palace's 18 away matches this season. The reverse fixture (a 1-1 draw in September) was also 0-0 at the interval.
Take slow road to profit
However, the better bet looks to be 13/10 about the first goal of the game coming after the 31st minute.
Between them, the teams have scored just 13 goals in the first 31 minutes of games this season.
The bet has landed in 24 of Palace's 36 games and while the figures aren't so convincing for Wolves, all seven of their post-lockdown matches have been goalless after 31 minutes.
There also looks to be potential in the 'to be booked' market given the referee and players on show.
Dribbling duo to produce cards
In the top flight, only Mike Dean averages more yellow cards per game than the man in charge of this one, Peter Bankes, while wingers Adama Traore and Wilfried Zaha (pictured below) are two of the most fouled players in the league, largely due to their dribbling ability - they are first and third in the dribbles-per-game stats.
Both have regularly drawn fouls which have resulted in cautions for their opponents.
Traore is likely to cause plenty of problems down the right where Palace will have a stand-in left-back on show with van Aanholt injured.
That's likely to be Jairo Reidewald, who hasn't started a game at full-back since January. He has started once since lockdown but that was in midfield.
Facing the speed of Traore will be a very testing return and 7/2 about Reidewald collecting a card looks worth a try.
You may want to wait for the team news with Jeffrey Schlupp, who has played only 18 minutes in 2020, and youngster Tyrick Mitchell other candidates to fill in on the left of the defence. They are 5/1 and 3/1 respectively in the market.
As for Zaha, he's played down the right in recent games which means he'll likely be up against wing-back Jonny and Conor Coady, the man who has played on the left of a back three.
The latter at 9/2 looks most tempting, given Zaha likes to roam into central positions too.
Coady has been carded in five games this season, including the reverse fixture at Selhurst Park in September which ended 1-1.
Wolves have scored 73.5% of their Premier League goals this season in the second half - the only teams to have scored a higher such percentage in a season are Portsmouth and Stoke in 2008/09 (both 73.7%) and Reading in 2007/08 (75.6%).
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