International Football

AFCON latest: Which FPL players are called up and when do they leave?

The delayed 2021 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) is only a fortnight or so away but the full ramifications for Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers are still a bit unclear, even at this late stage.

We know when the tournament proper takes place but how many Gameweeks our FPL assets will miss is still unclear, with clubs battling to delay the departure of their players until the last possible minute.

The tournament squads are still being finalised at the time of writing but with Gameweek 19 fast approaching, we’ll round up what we know so far.

WHEN DOES AFCON 2021 TAKE PLACE?

The tournament proper runs from Sunday 9 January to Sunday 6 February and will be staged in Cameroon.

With 16 nations progressing from the 24-team group stage, the chances of getting some of the big FPL names back early aren’t great; the likes of Egypt, Ghana, Senegal, Ivory Coast and Algeria are among the tournament favourites and will expect to go deep into the knockout rounds.

StageDates
Group stageJan 9-20
Round of 16Jan 23-26
Quarter-finalsJan 29-30
Semi-finalsFeb 2-3
Third place play-off/FinalFeb 6

HOW MANY GAMEWEEKS WILL FPL PLAYERS MISS DUE TO THEIR INVOLEMENT AT AFCON?

On paper, the damage doesn’t look too bad. Thanks to a combination of the FA Cup and a wider January international break, only two Gameweeks are affected while AFCON is on: Gameweeks 22 and 23.

However, with the competing countries requiring and allowed pre-tournament prep time with their players, other Gameweeks could be affected before that.

According to FIFA rules

“Players must be released and start the travel to their representative team no later than Monday morning the week preceding the week when the relevant final competition starts and must be released by the association in the morning of the day after the last match of their team in the tournament.”

With the tournament kicking off on Sunday 9 January, that theoretically would mean that players involved in AFCON will be required to leave their clubs on Monday 27 December.

Gameweeks 20 and 21 could also be affected, then, and possibly even the Newcastle United v Manchester United match in Gameweek 19.

And anyone involved in the final or third-place play-off on Sunday 6 February would surely be doubtful for Gameweek 24, which takes place on Tuesday-Wednesday 8-9 February.

Even at this late stage, there is still some uncertainty over when star names will depart.

Rob Harris reported on Thursday evening that the World Leagues Forum, of which the Premier League is a member, had written to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) saying that their clubs wouldn’t release players for AFCON until January 3.

There had been earlier reports that Mohamed Salah (£13.1m) has been given permission to face Chelsea in Gameweek 21 before leaving for Africa.

For others, a departure after Gameweek 20 seems likely.

Tim Spiers reports that is the case for Romain Saiss (£5.0m) at Wolves, while James Benge suggests that Arsenal are trying to agree on a similar exit date for Thomas Partey (£5.0m).

GameweekDates
Gameweek 19Dec 26-27
Gameweek 20Dec 28-30
Gameweek 21Jan 1-3
Gameweek 22Jan 14-16
Gameweek 23Jan 21-23
Gameweek 24Feb 8-9

PREMIER LEAGUE PLAYERS AND TEAMS AFFECTED BY AFCON 2021

Over 30 players from 16 clubs could be representing their respective nations at AFCON in January.

Arsenal, Crystal Palace, Leicester City and Watford look set to be the worst hit, with four or more players on international duty.

Leeds United, Newcastle United, Norwich City and Tottenham Hotspur are the four teams that won’t be affected by the tournament in Cameroon.

There are some big names in the below list, the most notable of which is Mohamed Salah (£13.1m).

The 71%-owned leading points-scorer in FPL is one of three Liverpool players who are set to be missing in January and possibly the beginning of February, with Sadio Mane (£11.9m) and Naby Keita (£5.0m) set to turn out for Senegal and Guinea respectively.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£9.6m), Maxwel Cornet (£5.9m), Edouard Mendy (£6.2m), Riyad Mahrez (£8.6m), and Said Benrahma (£5.9m) are also stand-out names in the table we’ve put together below:


ClubPlayers who may be at AFCON 2021 (bold indicates the final squad has been announced)
ArsenalThomas Partey (Ghana)
Mohamed Elneny (Egypt)
Pierre Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon)
Nicolas Pepe (Ivory Coast)
Aston VillaMahmoud Trezeguet (Egypt)
Bertrand Traore (Burkina Faso)
BrentfordFrank Onyeka (Nigeria)
Tariqe Fosu-Henry (Ghana)
BrightonYves Bissouma (Mali)
BurnleyMaxwel Cornet (Ivory Coast)
ChelseaEdouard Mendy (Senegal)
Crystal PalaceCheikhou Kouyate (Senegal)
Jeffrey Schlupp (Ghana)
Jordan Ayew (Ghana)
Wilfried Zaha (Ivory Coast)
EvertonAlex Iwobi (Nigeria)
LeicesterDaniel Amartey (Ghana)
Nampalys Mendy (Senegal)
Wilfred Ndidi (Nigeria)
Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria)
LiverpoolMohamed Salah (Egypt)
Naby Keita (Guinea)
Sadio Mane (Senegal)
Manchester CityRiyad Mahrez (Algeria)
Manchester UnitedEric Bailly (Ivory Coast)
SouthamptonMoussa Djenepo (Mali)
Mohammed Salisu (Ghana)
WatfordWilliam Troost-Ekong (Nigeria)
Adam Masina (Morocco)
Ismaila Sarr (Senegal)
Emmanuel Dennis (Nigeria)
Imran Louza (Morocco)
West HamSaid Benrahma (Algeria)
WolvesRomain Saiss (Morocco)
Willy Boly (Ivory Coast)


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430 Comments Post a Comment
  1. JoeJitzu +42
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 5 days ago

    A. Salah ESR Antonio to Son Martinelli Ronaldo

    B. Salah Watkins Dennis to Son Ronaldo Broja

    C. FH

    Ramsdale
    Cancelo James Dalot Tomiyasu
    Foden* Gundogan ESR*
    Watkins Antonio*

    Foster TAA Jota Salah Dennis

    1. Super Saints
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      -8's?

      1. JoeJitzu +42
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Yes -8s to save FH for later use

  2. Everton Vs Burnley Postponed
    Rotation's Alter Ego
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 5 days ago

    Another one bites the dust. Everton Vs Burnley this time

    https://twitter.com/BurnleyOfficial/status/1474341596409831426

    1. Rupert The Horse
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      That’s got to be the most irrelevant cancellation there’s ever been.

      1. Super Saints
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        First game cancelled that I don't have at least 2 players in

      2. No Need
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Not really something to get Wood about

      3. Gubby-Allen
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Not really. They had the two longest gaps between first and last games of the Xmas period, so would have been least likely to make changes, having a regular three games in a week.

          1. Rupert The Horse
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 5 days ago

            So what?

            1. Gubby-Allen
                1 month, 5 days ago

                So you have better assurance of who would have played and far less changes. They could easily have got away with successive unchanged teams.

                You have no idea with Arsenal say, who will play on 28th. They could be unchanged from Boxing Day or make 11 changes. Its why a Man Utd player seems a good transfer this week.

                1. Rupert The Horse
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 8 Years
                  1 month, 5 days ago

                  I honestly don’t give a toss.

          2. circusmonkey
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            1 month, 5 days ago

            No Brownhill off the bench, that's all anyone will be affected by.

          3. FantasyClub
            • 1 Year
            1 month, 5 days ago

            Benitez had a sook

          4. Pacer.
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            1 month, 5 days ago

            Not to the season in general though. Four games behind. Just imagine what the second half of the season is going to look like for these teams

            1. Rupert The Horse
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 8 Years
              1 month, 5 days ago

              I really don’t care.

        • Super Saints
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Affects no-one FPL wise at least

        • Holmes
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Pheww, no players...

        • FFS Ultras are for Kinnear
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Effective ownership of 0.1%

        • The Knights Template
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Lowton Captain fail.

          1. No Need
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 5 days ago

            Burnley defs would have made great Xmas FH stocking fillers...

        • Pacer.
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Burnley will now be four games behind some times.

          Getting pretty GRITTED TEETH EMOJI

        • CAVEAT KING
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Not this game that matters, but what about games on 30th

        • Levi's 501
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 4 days ago

          Takes DCL out of the equation, was considering him on WC.

      4. AC Yew
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Hey all. Is my team looking ok for this week? Dont want to waste the FH chip. Looking for a one week punt to replace Jota (for a hit). Got 10.6 ITB.
        Still got WC to play so will bring Jota back and tidy my team next week.

        Guaita
        Dias Cancelo Rudiger Duffy
        Son Jota* Bilva Saka
        Toney Antonio

        Foster TAA Raphinha Dennis

      5. Super Saints
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Salah to Bruno for free with enough ITB to get Salah back?

        Ramsdale
        TAA Cancelo James Reguilon
        Bruno SON Bilva ESR
        Lacazette Antonio
        Steele TAA King Sissoko

        1. bigwig
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Yeah like it alot, there's the obvious risk of Ronaldo ripping it up but I'm sure you're aware of that

          1. Super Saints
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 5 days ago

            Would be a hit for Ronaldo and if he rips it up Bruno is likely to be involved?

            1. bigwig
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 11 Years
              1 month, 5 days ago

              Bruno's just a great differential and the best Utd mid option but is probably over priced without pens. As a place holder for a few weeks for Salah it's decent punt

      6. Jinswick
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Bottomed - whatcha think?

        A) Salah -> Son
        B) Salah & Brownhill -> Son & 6.9 (Bowen) (-4)
        C) Free Hit
        D) Something else

        Ramsdale
        Cancelo, James, Alonso, White
        Saka, Gray, Brownhill
        CR7(c), Antonio

        Foster, Trent, Jota, Salah, King
        Bank 0.0m, 1FT

        1. Super Saints
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Maybe save?

      7. Black Knights
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Burnley v Everton now off.

      8. Holmes
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Just need Villa vs Chelsea to go away...

        1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Yes

        2. FantasyClub
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 5 days ago

          If that happens my free hits coming out 100%

      9. El_Gigante
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Ramsdale
        Dalot, James, Cancelo (Amartey)
        Bernardo, Mount, Foden, Bowen
        Antonio, Laca

        (Gunn, Salah, TAA, King)

        1FT

        A. Salah > Son?
        B. King, Salah > Ronaldo, Martinelli (-4)
        C. Roll

      10. Arteta
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        The real question is can Jota cover Salah for Leicester and Chelsea. What do you reckon?

        1. Super Saints
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Absolutely not

        2. Dark Side Of The Loon!
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Nobody can cover Salah. But the better comparison would be with the player you are planning to get in for him.

      11. Marxthetic
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Potential FH team

        Rambo

        Cancelo James Reg Tierney
        KDB Son(vc) Mount Bowen Martinelli
        Ronaldo (c)

        Sanchez Dalot Broja Pukki

        Any thoughts? Glaring omissions? Traps?

      12. Well you know, Triffic
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Brownhill noooooOOo

        1. No Need
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Now you know how us Sissoko owners feel lol

          1. JoeJitzu +42
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 5 days ago

            Brilliant post 🙂

      13. Flynny
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Who is best city mid for free hit?

        Thinking kdb..... thanks

        1. Super Saints
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Yep the most expensive one

        2. Rupert The Horse
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Yeah KDB

        3. Holmes
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Bernardo or Mahrez

          1. No Need
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 5 days ago

            Probably going these 2 with Cancelo on FH

        4. Arteta
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          I feel like Mahrez is getting his third haul in a row.

        5. Sun Jihai
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Spin the wheel, but wouldn't be surprised by Mahrez if he starts

      14. Dexters Laboratory
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Ramsdale Foster
        TAA James Cancelo Alonso Liv
        Salah Foden Jota Galla Sterling
        Laca King Davis

        Need to do Sterling to Son to make funds.. and obviously improves my team. After that should I do

        A) Davis/Salah to Marti/CR7
        B) King/Salah to Bowen/CR7

      15. Super John McGinn-
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Keep Salah or sell until after ACON, currently down to 10 with Gundo and ESR doubts

        Ramsdale
        TAA, Cancelo, James, Alonso, Livramento
        Foden, Gundo, ESR
        Antonio, Watkins

        Foster, Salah, TAA, Jota, Dennis

        2 FT 1.2 ITB

        A) Salah + Watkins + Alonso > Son + Ronaldo + Davies/Dalot (-4)
        B) Salah + Watkins + Antonio > Son + Ronaldo + Broja (-4)
        C) Salah > Son
        D) ESR > Bowen
        E) Dennis > Broja
        F) Other

      16. Echoes
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Apparently Norwich v Arsenal and Villa v Chelsea are also at risk.

        FH loading in 3...2....

        1. Holmes
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Yay!

        2. Dark Side Of The Loon!
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Whats the news on Norwich Arsenal now?

        3. Super Saints
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Arsenal Norwich will definitely be called off as I no have Ramsdale ESR AND Laca

        4. Milkman Bruno
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 5 days ago

          This would be awful for me

          1. Holmes
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 5 days ago

            everyone 😉

      17. Xna
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Salah + Foden + Raphinha - KDB + Son + Martinelli (-8) - yay or nay

      18. The 12th Man
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Everton unbeaten over Xmas. Get in.

      19. TheTinman
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        1-2pts taken from me for Brownhill. I feel aggrieved and rightly so.

      20. Kodap
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        This team FH worthy? Have 10 starting atm with either Dennis or one of the pool boys to shift to get a full 11?

        Ramsdale
        Lamptey - James - Rudiger - Cancelo
        Son - ESR - Bilva - Salah
        Broja - Lacazette

        Bachmann - TAA - Jota - Dennis

      21. OneDennisBergkamp
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        with all these transfers out, GW21 Salah (c) is going to be massive!

        1. OneDennisBergkamp
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          *GW20 vs lei

          1. OptimusBlack
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 5 days ago

            That's right

        2. OptimusBlack
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          He is back GW 20 ?

        3. Super Saints
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Not as massive as Ronaldo

      22. No Need
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        After what happened with Villa last time it might be a long 4 hours wait for people with players in that

        1. TheTinman
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          I would sincerely hope one of the outcomes from the Premier League meeting was that on match days the lateral flows have to be done X hours before kick off so that Premier League can make a decision within X hours to allow fans plenty of time to be updated.

          Cancellations so soon before kick off can't happen ever again. Ridiculous.

          1. No Need
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 5 days ago

            Yep. I'm likely going FH but loading up on 3pm KO-ers to keep the risk at its lowest.

      23. Geordie19
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Worth a FH if you can field 11? I’d say not, but means I’d lose Salah for Gw20

        1. vova
          • 11 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          not worth it

      24. vova
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Salah/Raphinha/Dennis to Son/Bowen/Wood -8?

        Gives me 11 players this week and sets me up nicely for the potential upcoming DGWs

        1. TheTinman
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Burnley is cancelled mate

      25. Little Red Lacazette
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Why lie, the way games are dropping off, 99% of managers will FH for gw19.

        1. Holmes
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Not sure if I would FH with only 3-4 games

          1. Rupert The Horse
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 5 days ago

            Exactly my thoughts last week.

          2. Little Red Lacazette
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 5 days ago

            Lets wait to see if the Villa game will be on.

        2. TheTinman
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Unlikely as 22% have played their FH already 🙂

          8% in top 10k

          1. Rupert The Horse
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 5 days ago

            There is that. 😉

          2. Little Red Lacazette
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 5 days ago

            Got me.

        3. Rupert The Horse
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          I don’t think that percentage will turn out to be accurate.

        4. Super Saints
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          I've only had 6-7 players for the last few gameweeks because of postponements and I haven't used a FH, I've scraped through with a -4 each week, save your FH for 11 extra players in a DGW

      26. PascalCygan
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Can’t wait to load up on Burnley players for their quintuple game week

        1. Holmes
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Yeah, Wood time!

          1. PascalCygan
            • 4 Years
            1 month, 5 days ago

            Ha, yes! I was genuinely considering him this week. Not long until we can all welcome Lowton back into our squads!

      27. SirMattBugsby
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Villa-Chelsea and Norwich-Arsenal next?

      28. Jinswick
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Whatcha reckon is the minimum no of starters required to avoid a FH?

        I currently have 8…

        Ramsdale
        Cancelo, James, Alonso, White
        Saka
        CR7, Antonio

        Foster, Trent, Salah, Jota, Gray, Brownhill, King
        Bank 0.0m, 1FT

        1. No Need
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          -8 ok -12 too much is my rule

        2. fantasist
          • 11 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          It's hard to say. Depends what your competition will field. If you are playing catchup, might be worth doing FH.

      29. Kodap
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Who should I replace here to field 11?

        Ramsdale
        Lamptey - James - Rudiger - Cancelo
        Son - ESR - Bilva - Salah
        Broja - Lacazette

        Bachmann - TAA - Jota - Dennis

        1. Super Saints
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Salah to Bruno

      30. fantasist
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Burnley vs Everton called off

        Impact on FPL: none

        1. Rupert The Horse
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Well I’m glad someone’s said it.

        2. Jinswick
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Brownhill and Gray owner here!!