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Premier League | Gameweek 20
Dec 30, 2023 at 3pm UK
Molineux Stadium
EL

Wolves
3 - 0
Everton

Kilman (25'), Cunha (53'), Dawson (61')
Ait-Nouri (43'), Doyle (45+5')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Patterson (23'), McNeil (45+5'), Tarkowski (67')

Preview: Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Everton - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Everton - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Everton, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Hoping to conclude the calendar year with a third consecutive Premier League victory, Wolverhampton Wanderers welcome Everton to Molineux on Saturday for their final fixture of 2023.

Gary O'Neil's men ran riot in a 4-1 battering of Brentford on Wednesday evening, while the Toffees failed to hang onto a slender advantage against Manchester City, losing 3-1 to the current holders.


Match preview

Three days on from exposing Chelsea's defensive frailties in a 2-1 Christmas Eve success, Wolves were the beneficiaries of a disastrous one-man display from Brentford defender Nathan Collins, who had a direct hand in two of the visitors' four goals on Wednesday night.

Hwang Hee-chan and Jean-Ricner Bellegarde both capitalised on misplaced passes from Collins, who also missed a glorious chance to reduce the deficit with a close-range header, and a ruthless Wolves unit were further indebted to another Hwang strike and early Mario Lemina header in a capital crushing.

While Wolves were gifted a pair of goals on a silver platter, O'Neil still wanted to highlight his side's clinical nature on an evening where the West Midlands crop shot up to 11th in the Premier League table, level on points with both Chelsea and Bournemouth, albeit having played a game more than the latter.

Success at the Gtech Community Stadium also saw Wolves march to back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time this season, but not since the days of Bruno Lage in January 2022 have the hosts triumphed in three top-flight fixtures on the bounce, and they have gone winless and scoreless in their last four games at the end of the calendar year.

Not since a 3-1 beating of Tottenham Hotspur in 2018 have Wolves come up trumps in their year-end performance, but O'Neil's current crop of players have a prime opportunity to snap that sequence at Molineux, where none of their last seven Premier League games have ended in defeat.

In contrast, Everton have now reverted to losing ways after igniting their survival bid with their praiseworthy four-match winless streak to start the month, although they were briefly in the ascendancy against Manchester City when Jack Harrison made the net bulge against his old team.

The Toffees headed down the tunnel with their 1-0 lead intact, but a second-half fightback from the European and world champions saw Phil Foden score a screamer, Julian Alvarez convert a penalty through Jordan Pickford's legs and Bernardo Silva capitalise on an error from the England number one.

Alvarez's 12-yard conversion came about thanks to a contentious Amadou Onana handball, which Dyche made no bones about in his post-match media duties as Everton slumped to a third defeat on the bounce, having also been overcome by Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham over the festive period.

The 17th-placed visitors' fate is now officially out of their own hands, as they only hold a one-point lead over Luton Town having played an extra game, although they are unbeaten in their last four year-end away fixtures and must hope that favourable history triumphs over the head-to-head column at Molineux.

Indeed, Everton have suffered four defeats and one draw from their last five Premier League meetings with Wolves, who ran out 1-0 victors at Goodison Park in August, where towering striker Sasa Kalajdzic made full use of his 6'6 frame to net an 87th-minute header.

Wolverhampton Wanderers Premier League form:

Everton Premier League form:


Everton form (all competitions):


Team News

After netting his ninth and 10th Premier League goals of the season at the Gtech Community Stadium, Wolves forward Hwang was forced off deep into first-half injury time, although O'Neil confirmed that he was only suffering from a back spasm.

The 40-year-old affirmed at his pre-game press conference that the South Korea international would be fine for this fixture and the Asian Cup, although August's match-winner Kalajdzic and Pedro Neto ought to be on standby just in case.

Craig Dawson has also battled back from a knee laceration, but Jonny has been ostracised from the group due to a training-ground incident, and Boubacar Traore (illness) is still doubtful alongside Mario Lemina, who is dealing with a personal matter.

As for Everton, midfield enforcer Idrissa Gueye was forced to miss the visit of Man City due to the unspecified injury he sustained in the Toffees' defeat to Tottenham over the weekend, and Dyche has admitted that the prognosis is not promising.

Abdoulaye Doucoure will likely need a little while longer to battle back from his thigh injury as well, while Ashley Young did not recover from his knock in time to face the champions, but Seamus Coleman was passed fit to make the bench.

Wednesday's clash with City saw Beto promoted to the starting lineup ahead of Dominic Calvert-Lewin, but the latter is primed to take his rightful place at the tip of the attack on Saturday, where he will aim to score his first goal against Wolves at the sixth attempt.


Wolverhampton Wanderers possible starting lineup:
Sa; Kilman, Toti, Dawson; Semedo, Bellegarde, Gomes, Ait-Nouri; Cunha, Neto; Hwang

Everton possible starting lineup:
Pickford; Coleman, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko; Harrison, Onana, Garner, Gomes, McNeil; Calvert-Lewin


We say: Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 Everton

Unless James Tarkowski or Jarrad Branthwaite replicate Collins's horror show from Wednesday night, Wolves can forget about another four-goal haul, even with Hwang given the green light to strut his stuff up front.

Even if the striker's back issue flares up, O'Neil's side still possess plenty of different goal threats from all areas of the field, and with few visiting sides stamping their authority on the Molineux turf this term, we have faith in the hosts to prolong their winning sequence while extending Everton's losing run.


For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data


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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38287396346291
2Arsenal38285591296289
3Liverpool382410486414582
4Aston Villa382081076611568
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs382061274611366
6Chelsea381891177631463
7Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381861485622360
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd38186145758-160
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham381410146074-1452
10Crystal Palace381310155758-149
11Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton381212145562-748
12Bournemouth38139165467-1348
13Fulham38138175561-647
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38137185065-1546
15Everton38139164051-1140
16Brentford38109195665-939
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3899204967-1832
RLuton TownLuton3868245285-3326
RBurnley3859244178-3724
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd38372835104-6916
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