Wolverhampton Wanderers will be looking to move into the Premier League’s top seven with a victory at home against Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon.
The visitors, meanwhile, could sneak into the top half of the table on goal difference if they were to claim maximum points at Molineux.
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.
Crystal Palace’s Cheikhou Kouyate celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on March 1, 2022© Reuters
Crystal Palace followed up their 1-1 draw at home against Burnley in the Premier League last weekend with a 2-1 victory against Championship outfit Stoke City in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Tuesday.
Cheikhou Kouyate’s 53rd-minute opener was cancelled out just five minutes later by Josh Tymon; however, substitute Jairo Riedewald scored an 82nd-minute winner for the Eagles with a drilled effort into the bottom-left corner, to secure their place in the quarter-finals for the second time in the last four years.
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 2014-15.