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Rupert Wyman 1st Feb 2010 - 18:26

The Palace Renaissance.

Tuesday night will bring a little optimism to the Eagles' fans at Selhurst Park in what has been a dark few weeks for Palace with the threat of administration put into practice.

They host Wolves in an eye catching FA Cup fourth-round replay.

The bonus turnover tomorrow will financially help Palace's administrators and offer a good distraction to those who feel that the sale of Victor Moses could have prevented Palace from going 'bust'.

They have had their Championship play-off dreams scuppered by this cruel fate, leaving the innocent fans disillusioned.

The compulsory deduction of ten points has left Palace in 20th, four points above relegation with their play-off dreams in tatters.

Warnock has conjured Palace into a hard working, energetic football side.

Today, they sold their golden boy Victor Moses to Wigan in a £2.5 million deal with add-ons, and providing the majority of the squad stays intact, if they find buyers, they should consolidate their Championship status.

Wolves have a manager in Mick McCarthy that is used to a relegation scrap, and he may see the FA Cup as a distraction with Wolves perilously close to the relegation zone.

They were promoted last year as Championship title winners and their first team consists of the majority of the promotion winning squad.

Their most high profile signing has been the inspirational, never say die, Irish stalwart, Kevin Doyle. They have caused controversy within the media this season for McCarthy's willingness to play the majority of his second eleven, in a few matches.

Against Man Utd at Old Trafford they lost 3-0 and rested several players. On Sunday, they are away at high flying Birmingham, a Midlands derby. The Blues managed an injury time equaliser at Tottenham over the weekend.

The Birmingham players will be buoyed by the result and the supposed Premier League cannon fodder, have been mentioned in the same phrase as 'Europe' recently.

With Wolves' cup final this weekend and the Midlands bragging rights at stake, it could be anyone's guess on the potential side put out tomorrow.

Wolves' new signing Geoffrey Mujangi Bia may make his debut tomorrow, and would replace Matt Jarvis who has a calf problem. The underutilised strikers, lwelumo, Vokes and Ebanks-Blake will all be looking for starting roles.

Despite Palace's depleted squad, they may be able to name a full bench. Matt Lawrence may keep his place but Claude Davis is fit.

I would back Palace for the win at 13/8, they will have a proud, positive and enthusiastic crowd urging them on for the upset.

There is also no pressure on Palace, as it is the cup and it will give them a break from the stresses of the points deduction and the potential player sales over the last few months.

Now the points have been robbed, there is no expectation at Selhurst and Palace fans just want to see the team try their best. I expect the upset and feel the Palace draw no bet at 7/10 is not value.

Wolves will be focused on a tough Midlands derby at the weekend and will see the replay as an unnecessary distraction.

Although, a few of the surplus players at Wolves, may see the match as a chance to prove their worth.

The first tie ended in a 2-2 draw and I would follow up that result with a small flutter on there being over 3 goals at 11/4, although Palace are without Moses and Doyle should be rested for Wolves, there will be plenty of strikers trying to prove their worth.

Crystal Palace and the administrators would love a fifth round cup tie against Villa at home, and it would surely boost the attendance to near or full capacity.

By Wednesday morning, Palace fans will boast 'Victor Who?' and there may be some light at the end of a dark tunnel, and it is not Simon Jordan's bleached locks or permatan.




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