Date: 20th December 2016 at 10:43pm
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A number of Premier League sides are set to have their first team plans interrupted by the African Cup of Nations tournament in the New Year.

The competition kicks off in January in Gabon, starting on Saturday January 14 and running until Sunday February 5, and those who head out following selection will be missing for at least three weeks if not slightly longer depending on their nation’s progress throughout the tournament.

In alphabetical order, here are the clubs that could see first teamers away on international duty during the important January and potentially early February Premier League encounters that will help shape the table.

Sky Sports crunched the numbers on this one and based on recent call ups they speculate that only Burnley, Chelsea, Manchester City, Middlesbrough and Swansea City will get away with no call ups whatsoever – but of course since they did their initial list a couple of players do drop out of contention such as Crystal Palace’s Pape Souare and Everton’s Yannick Bolasie as they are both long term injured – so I’ve removed them from the list and added those missing I’m aware of.

Mohamed Elneny – Egypt

Max Gradel – Ivory Coast

Crystal Palace:
Bakary Sako – Mali

Idrissa Gueye – Senegal

Ahmed Elmohamady – Egypt

Riyad Mahrez – Algeria
Islam Slimani – Algeria
Jeffrey Schlupp – Ghana
Daniel Amartey – Ghana

Sadio Mane – Senegal
Joel Matip – Cameroon

Manchester United:
Eric Bailly – Ivory Coast

Sofiane Boufal – Morocco

Mame Biram Diouf – Senegal
Ramadan Sobhi – Egypt
Wilfried Bony – Ivory Coast

Didier Ndong – Gabon
Lamine Kone – Ivory Coast
Wahbi Khazri – Tunisia

Nordin Amrabat – Morocco
Adlene Guedioura – Algeria
Brice Dja Djedje – Ivory Coast

West Brom:
Allan Nyom – Cameroon

West Ham:
Sofiane Feghouli – Algeria
Cheikhou Kouyate – Senegal
Andre Ayew – Ghana

If selected by their nations – preliminary squads mostly selected with final 23 man squads to be confirmed next week I believe – players could miss up to four Premier League encounters before they return to club contention.

Complicating the issue the BBC are reporting that Liverpool’s Matip and West Brom’s Nyom are two of seven Cameroon players who have said they do not want to be considered for contention for the tournament and that could bring a suspension at club level for the duration of the tournament.