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Roy Hodgson looks to Sakho

Roy Hodgson hopes Mamadou Sakho can become a talismanic figure in Crystal Palace's bid to climb the Premier League table.

The Eagles could set a new record for the longest start to a season without a goal in top-flight history at high-flying Manchester City on Saturday.

New Palace boss Hodgson will be banking on Christian Benteke to end his six-game league goal drought - but also tipped former Liverpool centre-back Sakho to shore up his side's defensive effort.

Sakho will make his first Premier League start since his permanent Palace switch, with Hodgson hailing the 27-year-old's Selhurst Park impact.

"I heard so many good things about him, and had seen him play for Liverpool and Palace last year, but I can understand why he's made himself a bit of a favourite with the Selhurst fans," said Hodgson of Sakho.

"The centre of defence has been reasonably strong, but he does strengthen that area of our team.

"We hope, with his quality and his leadership qualities, he helps us move away from the relegation zone. He is match fit. He will start."

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