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Dublin: 3°C Wednesday 14 April 2021
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13 Premier League clubs affected as these 23 players are off to Africa Cup of Nations

Sadio Mane, Eric Bailly and Riyad Mahrez are among those who will be involved at the tournament.

Leicester City star Riyad Mahrez.
Leicester City star Riyad Mahrez.
Image: Richard Sellers

THE AFRICA CUP Of Nations gets under way on 14 January and the biennial tournament will once again deprive a number of Premier League clubs of their star players for a number of weeks.

Thirteen of the league’s 20 clubs will be affected as 23 footballers prepare to head to Gabon — a late choice of venue after Libya withdrew over security concerns — to represent their countries.

The 16-team competition runs into the start of next month while the group stages won’t be concluded until 25 January.

Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez (Algeria), Liverpool’s Sadio Mane (Senegal) and Manchester United’s Eric Bailly (Ivory Coast) are among the Premier League contingent who will be absent for up to a month.

Sunderland and Stoke City will each be without three players due to the tournament while Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester City, West Brom, Middlesbrough, Burnley and Swansea will have no players on international duty.

Nigeria failed to qualify for the tournament this time around, meaning the likes of Victor Moses, John Obi Mikel (both Chelsea) and Alex Iwobi (Arsenal) will not be affected.

Ivory Coast are the reigning champions after they defeated Ghana 9-8 on penalties to win the final two years ago in Equatorial Guinea.

As well as the high-profile players at the tournament, there are also a number of well-known managers involved, including Spaniard Jose Antonio Camacho (Gabon), former Belgium boss Georges Leekens (Algeria), Argentine Hector Cuper (Egypt) and ex-Chelsea manager Avram Grant (Ghana).

Arsenal
Mohamed Elneny (Egypt)

Bournemouth
Max Gradel (Ivory Coast)

Crystal Palace
Wilfried Zaha (Ivory Coast), Bakary Sako (Mali)

Everton
Idrissa Gueye (Senegal)

Hull
Ahmed Elmohamady (Egypt), Dieumerci Mbokani (Democratic Republic of Congo)

Leicester City
Riyad Mahrez (Algeria), Islam Slimani (Algeria), Daniel Amartey (Ghana)

Liverpool
Sadio Mane (Senegal)

Manchester United
Eric Bailly (Ivory Coast)

Southampton
Sofiane Boufal (Morocco)

Stoke City
Wilfried Bony (Ivory Coast), Mame Biram Diouf (Senegal), Ramadan Sobhi (Egypt)

Sunderland
Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia), Lamine Kone (Ivory Coast), Didier Ndong (Gabon)

Watford
Nordin Amrabat (Morocco), Adlene Guedioura (Algeria)

West Ham
Andre Ayew (Ghana), Cheikhou Kouyate (Senegal)

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