It’s been a long road to recovery for Crystal Palace defender Mamadou Sakho but just days before the new Premier League season is set to begin, the Frenchman has taken a sizeable leap towards regaining full match fitness.
The Eagles took on AFC Wimbledon in their penultimate pre-season friendly at Kingsmeadow yesterday evening, seeing Mama start with the armband and complete 60 minutes before being replaced by Ryan Inniss.
His comeback is certainly a timely boost for Palace boss Roy Hodgson, who is still without James Tomkins at the heart of defence, not to mention any real back-up on the left or right sides of the back four. You’d expect the final few days of Palace’s transfer window to be hectic as always but with Sakho now edging closer towards a potential start against Everton at Selhurst on the opening day, the gaffer is bound to be pleased.
The tie itself saw Palace draw 2-2 with the Dons, being pegged back twice after a brace from academy forward Brandon Pierrick. Whilst the last-gasp nature of the host’s equaliser was a bit of a sickener for a youthful side, it will have been good for the academy boys to play alongside the likes of Sakho and Wickham so close to the new campaign getting underway.
Palace complete their pre-season calendar with a home game against Hertha Berlin this coming weekend. Who knows? We may even have one or two new faces to keep an eye on by the time kick-off rolls around.