Which Premier League clubs will be hit hardest by the Africa Cup of Nations?

Sadio Mane, Senegal

Matthew Griffiths ranks the English sides who will be without key players due to the tournament in Gabon

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Minimal damage...

The bigger concern for Palace is Wilfried Zaha, who recently switched international allegiance from England to Ivory Coast

14. Bournemouth

Of all the teams with at least one AFCON-eligible player in their ranks, Bournemouth look set to lose out least: Max Gradel was in line to represent Ivory Coast before an ankle injury ruled him out until February, so nothing should change for Eddie Howe's charges.

13. Crystal Palace

Next on the list are Crystal Palace. Senegal's Pape Souare will miss the tournament after breaking his thigh bone in a car crash, but the left-back's team-mate Bakary Sako has recovered from a groin strain and will probably be called up by Mali. Having made only three league appearances this season – all from the bench – he's unlikely to be missed too much, though.

Bakary Sako

Palace are unlikely to miss back-up option Sako too much next month

The bigger concern for the Eagles is Wilfried Zaha, who recently switched international allegiances from England to Ivory Coast. It's not yet clear whether he'll head to Gabon or remain in south London during January, but Palace fans are hopeful it'll be the latter.

Should be manageable...

West Brom's Allan Nyom was one of seven Cameroon players to reject a call-up to the Indomitable Lions' squad

12. Watford

Watford could lose three players to the Cup of Nations, but Walter Mazzarri's first XI shouldn't be overly affected: Brice Dja Djedje hasn't yet played for the Hornets in the top flight, while Adlene Guedioura has only three starts to his name. Nordin Amrabat will be the biggest loss, although Watford's deep squad means Mazzarri should be able to replace the Netherlands-born Morocco international.

11. Arsenal

Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny will be unavailable for selection during AFCON, although Arsene Wenger appears to have settled on Francis Coquelin and Granit Xhaka as his preferred duo in the engine room. Egypt will fancy their chances of winning the competition for the eighth time, so Elneny could be absent for around a month.

10. West Brom

West Brom also thought they would lose just a single body, but Allan Nyom was one of seven Cameroon players to reject a call-up to the Indomitable Lions' squad on Wednesday. Tony Pulis will be hoping that the right-back isn't hit with a FIFA ban for the duration of the tournament, something the Cameroonian FA have threatened.

9. Hull

Ahmed Elmohamady is a two-time AFCON winner with Egypt and will be looking to complete his hat-trick in Gabon. The Hull full-back has already declared he'll be putting country over club in January, so Mike Phelan will have to find a deputy.


Egypt took the trophy in 2006, 2008 and 2010

Next: Not ideal for this lot