The delayed 2021 Africa Cup of Nations begins in January and, after much speculation, we finally know which Fantasy Premier League (FPL) players will be representing their countries in Cameroon and how many Gameweeks they will miss as a minimum.
WHEN WILL PREMIER LEAGUE PLAYERS LEAVE FOR AFCON?
Previously there had been some concern about FPL assets leaving as early as Gameweek 19 or 20 to attend pre-competition training camps but it has now been confirmed that players from the English top flight will be allowed to represent their clubs in the initial round of Gameweek 21 matches (i.e. not the ‘doubles’) before departing for AFCON.
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.
|Group stage||Jan 9-20|
|Round of 16||Jan 23-26|
|Third place play-off/Final||Feb 6|
HOW MANY GAMEWEEKS WILL FPL PLAYERS MISS DUE TO THEIR INVOLEMENT AT AFCON?
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.
Anyone involved in the final or third-place play-off on Sunday 6 February could be doubtful for Gameweek 24, however, which takes place on February 8-10.
|Gameweek 20||Dec 28-30|
|Gameweek 21 (PL players leave after the initial New Year round of games and before the ‘doubles’)||Jan 1-12|
|Gameweek 22||Jan 14-16|
|Gameweek 23||Jan 21-23|
|Gameweek 24 (PL players arrive back at clubs before this point)||Feb 8-10|
PREMIER LEAGUE PLAYERS AND TEAMS AFFECTED BY AFCON 2021
Up to 30 players from 16 clubs could be representing their respective nations at AFCON in January.
Arsenal, Leicester City and Watford look set to be the worst hit, with four 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 (£12.8m).
The 64%-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 (£11.8m) and Naby Keita (£5.0m) poised to turn out for Senegal and Guinea respectively.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£9.6m), Maxwel Cornet (£5.9m), Edouard Mendy (£6.2m), Riyad Mahrez (£8.7m), and Said Benrahma (£5.9m) are also stand-out names in the table we’ve put together below:
*Still being assessed by medical teams to see if he is fit enough to compete
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