English Premiership

Premier League clubs hit hard by AFCON

2016-11-08 21:21
Joel Matip (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Some of the English Premier League's biggest clubs seem likely to be hit hard as they could lose a number of star performers during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

In particular, inconsistent English champions Leicester City are potentially going to lose up to four key players which will be a big concern to coach Claudio Ranieri.

The Foxes may be without Algeria's Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani as well as Ghana's Jeffrey Schlupp and Daniel Amartey during the tough new year period.

In addition, West Ham United and Sunderland could also shed four first team players each.

Table-toppers Liverpool may see their ambitions of challenging for the title slightly dented as Senegal's Sadio Mane and Cameroon's Joel Matip will likely be unavailable during the African showpiece.

At this stage, 16 of 20 top flight sides are likely to lose a least one player for a few weeks at least.

From the current top four aside from the Reds, Egypt's Mohamed Elneny could be absent for Arsenal. Whereas, Manchester City's out of favour Yaya Toure is a certainty to be selected by Ivory Coast. Chelsea are one of four Premier League teams that won't lose any personnel and may look to take advantage during that period.

Meanwhile, sixth-placed Manchester United will only seemingly miss the services of defender Eric Bailly.

The AFCON in Gabon takes place from January 14 to February 5.

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