Checking in with EPL Players at AFCON

Updated: Jan 24

We have arrived at the halfway point of the continental competition and it is time to check in on the fantasy players stranded at the back end of our benches or the ones giving us the eyes on waivers.


The stage is set for an exciting knockout round at this year's AFCON as the last 16 has already kicked off at the time of writing. We have already had 3 high-profile teams exit the competition: Ghana and defending champions Algeria in the group stage, and Nigeria to Tunisia in the first game of the Last 16.


We will be taking a quick look at the EPL players' performances, when they are expected to be back, and some tidbits of interest about each player.




Arsenal

  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon) - Played 0 minutes at AFCON. Has flown home from AFCON early due to the lack of fitness because of his COVID infection. He is heavily linked with a late move away from Arsenal (to Al-Hilal), but even if he stays, he is highly unlikely to feature.

  • Mohamed Elneny (Egypt) - Started 3 games for Egypt, will face Cote d'Ivoire in the Last 16 on the 26th of January. Egypt are underdogs in this game, which if they lose, would see Elneny return to England by the weekend, giving him plenty of time to integrate back into training before GW24. Highly unlikely to feature.

  • Thomas Partey (Ghana) - Started all 3 of Ghana's games, had 2 assists in the competition. Already back in England, he featured from the bench in the Carabao Cup semi final second leg and was shown a red card so missed the EPL game against Burnley. Will be back for GW24.

  • Nicolas Pepe (Ivory Coast) - Started 2 games and scored 2 goals, assisted 1. Pepe is having a great tournament and contributing to his country's performance a lot. Will face Egypt in the Last 16 on the 26th of January. Cote d'Ivoire are favourites to go through and are likely to face Morocco in the Quarter finals on January 30th. Will be interesting to see if Pepe gets any more consideration for minutes at Arsenal after his nice run of form at AFCON.


Aston Villa

  • Bertrand Traore (Burkina Faso) - Started 3 games, scored 1 goal, assisted 1. Already through to the Quarter finals after a victory against Gabon, he will face Tunisia on 29th January. Gerrard suggested that he is keeping a close eye on his performances and he is looking to use him as cover for Ollie Watkins in the number 9 role (as well as likely on the wings as he previously did).

  • Mahmoud Trezeguet (Egypt) - Has 3 substitute appearances so far. Egypt will face Cote d'Ivoire in the Last 16 on the 26th of January. Egypt are underdogs in this game, which if they lose, would see Trezeguet return to England by the weekend. He will likely be limited to a substitute role for Villa.


Brentford

  • Tarique Fosu-Henry (Ghana) - Has not featured.

  • Julian Jeanvier (Guinea) - Has not featured.

  • Frank Onyeka (Nigeria) - Had 1 brief substitute appearance. Nigeria have been knocked out of the competition. Onyeka is on his way back to Brentford and will compete with Baptiste, Ghoddos, Jensen, Norgaard, and Janelt for one of the midfield spots (with the latter 2 being the most locked on at the moment).


Brighton

  • Yves Bissouma (Mali) - Started 2 games and has 1 substitute appearance for Mali so far. Was given the Man of the Match for his performance against Gambia. Mali play Equatorial Guinea on 26th January and are very heavy favourites. They will likely face Senegal (the winner of Senegal vs Cape Verde game) on 30th January. An all but guaranteed starter at Brighton upon his return although Aston Villa and Newcastle are both supposedly looking to transfer him in (but unlikely it'll happen).


Burnley

  • Maxwel Cornet (Ivory Coast) - Has started 1 game in the competition so far. Will face Egypt in the Last 16 on the 26th of January. Cote d'Ivoire are favourites to go through and are likely to face Morocco in the Quarter finals on 30th January.


Chelsea

  • Edouard Mendy (Senegal) - Has started 1 match so far and kept a clean sheet. After overcoming a COVID infection on his arrival, he has taken his spot in the starting lineup for the final match of the group. Senegal face Cape Verde in the Last 16 on 25th January and are heavy favourites. They will likely meet Mali in the Quarter finals on 30th January. Even if they progress, Chelsea have a blank in GW24 and 25 and then blank again in GW27.

Crystal Palace

  • Wilfried Zaha (Ivory Coast) - Has started 1 game and had 2 sub appearances with 1 assist. Will face Egypt in the Last 16 on the 26th of January. Cote d'Ivoire are favourites to go through and are likely to face Morocco in the Quarter finals on 30th January.

  • Jordan Ayew (Ghana) - Started 3 games for Ghana. Due to his nation being eliminated, he is already back with Palace and featured as a sub against Liverpool. He will likely compete with Olise for the starting spot.

  • Chiekhou Kouyate (Senegal) - Started all 3 of his nation's games so far. Senegal face Cape Verde in the Last 16 on 25th January and are heavy favourites. They will likely meet Mali in the Quarter finals on 30th January.


Everton

  • Alex Iwobi (Nigeria) - Started 1 game, was sent off after coming on from the bench in the Round of 16. Nigeria have been knocked out of the competition. On his way back to Everton who await the announcement of their new manager. Likely a rotation/bench option.


Leicester City

  • Daniel Amartey (Ghana) - Started all 3 of his nation's games. Due to his nation being eliminated, he is already back with Leicester and started the game against Brighton.

  • Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria) - Started all 4 games for his country. Scored a goal and an assist. Due to his nation being eliminated, he is already on his way back to the club. He will likely provide competition for Daka or an option for Rodgers to switch to a 2 forward tactic. Definitely worth a pickup if he is on your wire.

  • Nampalys Mendy (Senegal) - Started 1 game so far. Senegal face Cape Verde in the Last 16 on 25th January and are heavy favourites. They will likely meet Mali in the Quarter finals on 30th January.

  • Wilfried Ndidi (Nigeria) - Started all 4 games for his country. Was voted Man of the Match against Guinea-Bissau. Due to his nation being eliminated, he is already on his way back to the club. Likely to go straight into the starting XI replacing KDH or starting next to him (pushing Maddison back into the front 3 for Barnes/Lookman).


Liverpool

  • Naby Keita (Guinea) - Has started all 3 of his nation's games so far, scoring a goal and getting 2 MotM awards in the process. Guinea face Gambia in the Last 16 and are heavy favourites. If they progress, they will likely meet tournament hosts and favourites Cameroon in the Quarter finals on 29th January.

  • Sadio Mane (Senegal) - Has played 3 games so far and scored one goal. He was voted MotM once. Senegal face Cape Verde in the Last 16 on 25th January and are heavy favourites. They will likely meet Mali in the Quarter finals on 30th January.

  • Mohamed Salah (Egypt) - Has played 3 games so far and scored one goal. He was voted MotM once. Egypt will face Cote d'Ivoire in the Last 16 on the 26th of January. Egypt are underdogs in this game, which if they lose, would see him return to England by the weekend and surely feature in GW24.


Manchester City

  • Riyad Mahrez (Algeria) - Started all 3 of his nation's games. Due to his nation being eliminated, he will be on his way back to his club after being given a week off after AFCON. As always with Pep, he's a possible starter in GW24 and going forward.


Manchester United

  • Eric Bailly (Ivory Coast) - Has started 2 games so far. Will face Egypt in the Last 16 on the 26th of January. Cote d'Ivoire are favourites to go through and are likely to face Morocco in the Quarter finals on 30th January.

  • Amad Diallo (Ivory Coast) - Has not featured.


Southampton

  • Moussa Djenepo (Mali) - Has started 2 games so far. Mali play Equatorial Guinea on 26th January and are very heavy favourites. They will likely face Senegal (the winner of Senegal vs Cape Verde game) on 30th January.


Watford

  • Adam Masina (Morocco) - Has started all 3 of his nation's games so far. Morocco play Malawi in the Last 16 and are heavy favourites. They will likely face the winner of the Egypt vs Cote d'Ivoire game in the Quarter finals on 30th January. If they lose, he could back in time for the 2nd Watford game of DGW22 but it may be too quick a turnaround to start (and Kamara will likely thus be safe).

  • Ismaila Sarr (Senegal) - Has not featured. could feature if Senegal make it through to the Semi finals.

  • William Troost-Ekong (Nigeria) - Started all 4 games for his country. Due to his nation being eliminated, he is already on his way back to the club.

  • Imran Louza (Morocco) - Has started all 2 of his nation's games so far. Morocco play Malawi in the Last 16 and are heavy favourites. They will likely face the winner of the Egypt vs Cote d'Ivoire game in the Quarter finals on 30th January. If they lose, he could back in time for the 2nd Watford game of DGW22 but it may be too quick a turnaround to start.


West Ham

  • Said Benrahma (Algeria) - Started 1 game. Due to his nation being eliminated, he is already back with West Ham, but did not make the squad against Man Utd.


Wolves

  • Romain Saiss (Morocco) - Has started 2 of his nation's games so far. Morocco play Malawi in the Last 16 and are heavy favourites. They will likely face the winner of the Egypt vs Cote d'Ivoire game in the Quarter finals on 30th January.


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