Crystal Palace vs Wolverhampton WanderersEnglish Premier League, KO: 14:00 Sep 3, 2023, Selhurst Park
OLD master Roy Hodgson has slipped back into the Crystal Palace dugout like a comfortable pair of slippers and will be looking for his side to continue their promising start to the new season with a victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers.
A 1-0 loss to Arsenal is the only blot on Palace's copybook so far in the new campaign and they followed up a decent draw at Brentford last weekend with a thrilling 4-2 win over Championship side Plymouth in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night.
Hodgson's success in his first spell in charge at Selhurst Park was based on a solid defence and making Palace hard to beat but he seems to have taken the handbrake off since returning the club.
Letting the likes of Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise off the leash was key in easing any relegation troubles last season when Hodgson took the reins from Patrick Vieira and the only blank so far this term came in that loss to the Gunners.
While Hodgson is coming towards the end of an incredible managerial career, new Wolverhampton Wanderers boss Gary O'Neil is still cutting his teeth. The 40-year-old saved Bournemouth from the drop last season and the early signs at Molineux suggest he can also do a decent job in the Midlands.
O'Neil faces an uphill struggle at Wolves with former manager Julen Lopetegui running for the hills when it became clear he wouldn't be given money to invest in the squad during a period of downsizing.
There was further upheaval when midfielder Matheus Nunez effectively went on strike to force through a £53million move to Manchester City but O'Neil looks set to land England Under-21 international Tommy Doyle as part of that deal and still has some quality players in the squad.
Wolverhampton Wanderers got off the mark in the Premier League with a massive win at Everton last weekend on a good day for our man Gabriel. They followed that up by smashing five past Blackpool in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday so O'Neil will be looking to continue building some momentum when Wolves head to Selhurst Park.
How the bookies view it
Recent head to head
There's been nothing to separate these sides in recent years, with the last 11 meetings producing five wins apiece and one draw. Crystal Palace claimed a 2-1 victory when Wolves came calling last season but the Molineux men got their revenge at home as they won 2-0.
Players to watch
Hodgson faces a dilemma up front after Jean-Philippe Mateta grabbed a hat-trick in the midweek win over Plymouth. Fellow Frenchman Odsonne Edouard has started every league game as centre-forward and is in decent form himself, with two goals from four outings. So it's probably best backing a Palace midfielder for a goal instead and Eze is 14/5 with Sporting Index to get off the mark for the season. The playmaker provided two assists off the bench in midweek so it might be wiser to back him to set up a goal here at 4/1 with McBookie.
The return to fitness of Sasa Kalajdzic is a massive boost for Wolves as it has given them a much-needed focal point in attack. The towering Austrian has scored in his last two outings and is 7/2 with Bet365 for another goal here. Backing him to score a header increases the odds to 15/2 at McBookie.
Anything else catch the eye?
There's plenty of attacking talent in both teams so this should be a decent game to watch. Both teams to score looks good at 21/20 with William Hill while over 2.5 goals is 6/5 with most firms. Bet365 are offering 20/21 on between two and three goals and that stands a good chance as it has landed in the last four meetings.
I love a good stats bet and there are a couple that catch my eye here. Matheus Cunha has looked a threat for Wolves and Unibet price the forward at 11/10 just to have a shot on target here. I also like the 11/8 on offer at the same firm for Wolverhampton Wanderers to have over 3.5 shots on target.
This English Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Wolverhampton Wanderers will be played on Sep 3, 2023 and kick off at 14:00. Check below for our tipsters best Crystal Palace vs Wolverhampton Wanderers prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.