Wolverhampton Wanderers v Crystal Palace: Predicted starting line-up
Predicted line-ups for Wolves v Palace, KO Friday 30th October 20:00

With only one goal separating the two sides in the Premier League, both teams will be looking to strike the right balance of nullifying their opposition whilst creating chances in the final third.  

The formations

Wolves boss Nuno-Espirito Santo is normally not one for wholesale changes when it comes to line-ups. With the side trying to find their groove with the new approach, Nuno will most likely be sticking with a very similar side to the last few games, which means the usual 3-4-3 formation.

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has a few players either injured or unavailable for the fixture, but should still be looking to field a strong side. He will most likely keep to the 4-4-2 formation that the club have gone with so far this season.

The back four

In what was a rare mistake last week which led to Newcastle's late equalizer, Rui Patricio is still expected to be wearing the gloves in goal for Wolves. The Portuguese keeper has been a solid fixture in the side and has established himself as one of the most consistent goalies in the league.

The back three should be very similar to what has been used previously, with Wolves skipper Conor Coady in the centre, Willy Boly on the right and Max Kilman on the left. Kilman's fantastic recent performances should give him another nod, with Coady and Boly themselves expected to put in more solid performances.

The wing-backs

Nelson Semedo had an excellent game against Newcastle at right wing-back and should be expected to start again. He will potentially face his toughest opponent yet, with Wilfried Zaha looking to get in behind the right side of the Wolves defence. 

The big question is at left wing-back. Nuno has a lot of confidence in Romain Saiss, so it is expected that the Moroccan will get given another start there. Wolves do have other options though, with both Marcal and Rayan Ait-Nouri competing for a place in the side. A strong performance is needed from Saiss in order to keep his place, with an in-form Andros Townsend lining up against him on that side.

The men in the middle

Leander Dendoncker has started four games for Wolves this season, winning three and drawing one. With the Belgian going about his business in the middle very quietly, it may have appeared that he is more of a passenger in some of the games. If you look more closely, you can see him giving the Wolves defence extra protection, whilst keeping the holes in the middle filled. This means that he should be starting against Palace.

Nuno then has a choice of either Ruben Neves or Joao Moutinho to partner Dendoncker in the centre. With Neves starting against Newcastle, it may be Moutinho's turn to link the defence to attack. It could still be Neves that starts instead, which is still not a bad option to have. With Vitinha starting in the last Under-23s game, it will be unlikely that he will feature.

The wingers

It should be again Daniel Podence and Pedro Neto on the wings for the Wanderers. Then, expect Adama Traore to come off the bench to add more energy to the attack in the second half. It would not be a surprise though to see Adama starting, but his recent performances have not been as strong as last season.

Podence is continuing to show that he is a difficult man to mark, with his 'low centre of gravity' being mentioned by commentators and pundits very frequently. Neto is a full-back's nightmare, as his pace and directness is very hard to handle. Yet, the final ball continues to be a problem for both men, not to mention the lack of goals.

The man up top

Speaking of goals, Wolves' number nine Raul Jimenez should start as the man up top. Without the Mexican's contributions this season, Wolves would be in a very different place. He has scored 5 out of the 6 goals that the whole team have scored, which is a worrying statistic. If he was to get injured, this would be a huge problem for the club.

With many fans still desperate to see more of new signing Fabio Silva, he will have to settle for the bench, unless Nuno changes to a formation that allows two up top. So for now, Jimenez gets the nod.

Crystal Palace are without goalkeepers Wayne Hennessey, Jack Butland and defenders James Tomkins, Gary Cahill, and Nathan Ferguson. This should be seen as an opportunity for Wolves to really take the game to Palace and create lots of opportunities in the final third. Even so, Palace are no mugs and this should still be a very tight affair.

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