Sakho a doubt for Palace but Zaha expected to shake off foot issue to face Canaries
PUBLISHED: 14:57 27 September 2019 | UPDATED: 15:03 27 September 2019
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Central defender Mamadou Sakho is a doubt for Crystal Palace ahead of Saturday’s clash with Norwich – but the Eagles are hopeful that star player Wilfried Zaha will shake off a knock.
Former Liverpool defender Sakho, who has 29 France caps to his name, missed the first three games of the season as he continued his recovery from the knee injury which forced him to miss the final 11 games of last season.
However, the 29-year-old returned as a late substitute to make sure of a 1-0 home win over Aston Villa at the end of last month and played all of the 4-0 defeat at Tottenham and the 1-1 home draw with Wolves which followed.
Eagles boss Roy Hodgson explained: "We have a problem with Mamadou Sakho. He's feeling a slight strain so we don't know as yet if he'll recover in time to play but we'll know tomorrow morning."
Highly rated attacker Zaha picked up a knock during Sunday's draw with Wolves at Selhurst Park, in which the visitors only claimed a point because of a misjudged header from Palace right-back Joel Ward deep into second half injury-time.
The Ivory Coast international scored 10 goals and assisted another 10 during 34 top-flight games last season and came close to a big money move to Everton this summer, with Palace reportedly turning down a £60million bid.
"He got a nasty kick on the top of his foot after Wolves," Hodgson added of Zaha, speaking to Football.London. "He wanted to come out and take part as much as he could but he wasn't going to take part in the kicking part. He will be fine for the weekend."
Centre-back James Tomkins could feature after playing an hour for the under-23s on Monday, on his return from a groin injury suffered in April.
Former Ipswich striker Connor Wickham returned to training this week after a minor problem but Hodgson suggested under-23 football may be needed to get the ex-England U21 international back to match fitness.
"He's trained this week, back fit again, training all week so that's good," the Palace boss explained. "No (he won't be selected), he needs to play. The thing about Connor Wickham is he hasn't been able to string a run of games together.
!He's hardly played at all. The important thing now is he's over the injury. We've got some games coming up where he can prove not only he's over the injury but his match fitness."