The postponed continental cup competition, the African Cup of Nations, will take place January 9 - February 6, 2022. It will impact many Fantasy EPL assets, who will need to leave their Premier League clubs to play in the competition and potentially miss a few EPL games. Read about the fallout below and plan accordingly!
Fantasy EPL Fallout from the 2022 African Cup of Nations
The African Cup of Nations (taking place between 9 January and 6 February 2022) will interrupt the seasons of many top players. The likes of Salah, Mane, Iheanacho, Mahrez, Aubameyang, Zaha, Bertrand Traore, Ndidi, and Sarr could miss up to two to three matches (GW22, 23, & 24) in the middle of the season. While due to some fortuitous timing with the international break in January, it is less impactful than it would be otherwise, you will need to prepare. This isn't the end of the world - the flip side is that they will get a much needed rest this summer when others will have to play in the Euros or Copa America - but it will influence their value and force Fantasy EPL managers to reshuffle their rosters accordingly.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon) - less risk to Lacazette
Mohamed Elneny (Egypt)
Thomas Partey (Ghana) - Lokonga likely nailed on in the double pivot next to Xhaka
Nicolas Pepe (Ivory Coast) - unfortunately, no impact
Marvelous Nakamba (Zimbabwe) (injured, not selected) - less midfield stability as he started brightly under Gerrard. Less potential rotation for Luiz.
Bertrand Traore (Burkina Faso) - if Watkins is healthy, front 3 will likely be Watkins, Ings, and Buendia. If not, Young or El Ghazi could come in and start/
Mahmoud Trezeguet (Egypt) - same as above, if he has a tournament to remember, definitely worth a pickup later.
Tarique Fosu-Henry (Ghana)
Julian Jeanvier (Guinea)
Frank Onyeka (Nigeria) - Baptiste more likely to start (likely next to Janelt, Norgaard)
Yves Bissouma (Mali) - Helps all Brighton mids in terms of playing time; Moder, Mwepu, Gross
Maxwel Cornet (Ivory Coast) - more starts for Lennon, Vydra, and Rodriguez up top, more headers for defenders playing against Burnley. Less attacking threat from Burnley.
Edouard Mendy (Senegal) - Kepa will comes in as the starter.
*Hakim Ziyech was a regular member of the Morocco side but he was left out of the AFCON squad due to a rift with the national team head coach*
Wilfried Zaha (Ivory Coast) - Olise or Mateta will likely start alongside Benteke and Edouard
Jordan Ayew (Ghana) - same as above
Chiekhou Kouyate (Senegal) - More time for Mili and Schlupp in the midfield alongside Gallagher (when fit) and/or Hughes
Jeffrey Schlupp (Ghana) - not selected
Jean-Phillippe Gbamin (Ivory Coast) - not selected
Alex Iwobi (Nigeria) - Gordon more locked on in absence of Gray, Richarlison and Townsend
Daniel Amartey (Ghana) - LEI down yet another CB leaving Vestergaard, Castagne, Bertrand (with Evans and Soyuncu hurt)
Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria) - with Vardy and Daka also hurt, only Perez really left as traditional through the middle player, maybe Maddison will be played as a false 9 or one of other attackers. If Daka returns in time (Zambia not in AFCON) he could get serious time
Nampalys Mendy (Senegal) - no big impact
Wilfried Ndidi (Nigeria) - limited CBs, and CDMs - more time for KDH + Soumare in midfield next to Tielemans
Naby Keita (Guinea) - If Thiago is healthy he'll play next to Fabinho and Henderson. If not, more starts for Curtis Jones, Ox, and Milner
Sadio Mane (Senegal) and Mohamed Salah (Egypt) - these 2 missing means Jota and Firmino (if fit) definitely play, and then 1 more joins them from Minamino, Ox, or Origi. Look out for the possibility of Neco Williams featuring on the right side of the front 3 if the backup options are not stellar/healthy.
Riyad Mahrez (Algeria) - More playing time for all other City attackers, particularly Jesus, Grealish, Foden, and Sterling
Eric Bailly (Ivory Coast) - less backup for United CBs; more playing time for Phil Jones if Maguire and Lindelof are not healthy
Amad Diallo (Ivory Coast) - no impact
Moussa Djenepo (Mali) - little impact, less competition for 10s
Mohammed Salisu (Ghana) - has not been called up/not accepted call-up
Peter Etebo (Nigeria) - injured, not selected
Adam Masina (Morocco) - Ngakia/Rose get more time at LB (Rose has been injured) until new signing Kamara settles and then he'll likely be the locked in starter (ahead of Masina too)
Ismaila Sarr* (Senegal) - likely back from injury no earlier than February
William Troost-Ekong (Nigeria) - Cathcart + Sierralta pairing at CB, until new signings come in (soon)
Emmanuel Dennis (Nigeria) - well documented rift between the National Team and the club ended with him not being selected but he could be prevented from featuring for WAT by a FIFA decree. If he's prevented form playing, this helps Pedro, Cucho, and Sema's chances of playing more
Imran Louza (Morocco) - Kucka more locked on, more time for Cleverley or Tufan with Kucka, Sissoko in a 3 man midfield
Said Benrahma (Algeria) - More Lanzini and Fornals starting with Bowen and Antonio. When rotation happens, more time for Vlasic
Willy Boly (Ivory Coast)
Romain Saiss (Morocco) - more time for Marcal as CB, or Dendoncker in the backline, maybe more Ait-Nouri at LWB with Marcal as CB
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