The FA Cup third round gets underway from Friday and Wolves host Crystal Palace in an all-Premier League tie that night. The tie can be considered extremely finely poised and tough to call, given that in the league the two teams are separated by just one place, are level on points and have a goal difference of just one between them.
Wolves have been boosted by the news Raul Jimenez has begun some light fitness training again after his head injury, though it will still be a while before he begins closing in on a return to action. Nuno Espirito Santo will have to decide whether he wants the FA Cup to be a potential route back into Europe and go strong, as it appears unlikely Wolves will be capable of doing so through the league this season.
As for Palace, they will be nowhere near the list of favourites to win the competition, with inconsistency blighting their performances and results more often than not.
But Roy Hodgson’s team are capable of upsetting the odds on any given day with the pace and individual ability they have in attack, and they have scored more goals than Wolves in league play this season.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the match at Molineux.
When is the match?
The game kicks off at 7:45pm on Friday, 8 January 2021.
Where can I watch it?
The match will be shown live on BT Sport Extra 2. The game can also be streamed by subscribers on BT Sport’s app and desktop website.
What is the team news?
Either manager could opt to go with a below-strength line-up to give squad players some game time, but Wolves do not play again until Tuesday and Palace play on Thursday – so recovery time should be fine for most players.
Jonny is still out for Wolves and Leander Dendoncker is a doubt, but Willy Boly should be ready to return.
Palace are missing Mamadou Sakho, Gary Cahill and Martin Kelly, plus back-up goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey and youngster Nathan Ferguson.
WOL: Patricio; Hoever, Boly, Kilman, Marcal; Dendoncker, Neves; Adama, Vitinha, Neto; Podence
CRY: Butland; Clyne, Tomkins, Kouyate, Van Aanholt; Townsend, McArthur, McCarthy, Eze; Batshuayi, Ayew
Wolves – 8/7
Draw – 23/10
Crystal Palace – 3/1
Wolves have the better options to rotate perhaps, and they are more likely to take the game seriously as a candidate to go deep in the competition and try to earn a European spot by winning the FA Cup. That mindset could prove crucial in a tight game. Wolves 1-0 Palace
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