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

Sadio Mane, Senegal
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Far from ideal...

Sadio Mane has been terrific since joining Liverpool in the summer, and his departure to play for Senegal will be testing for Jurgen Klop

8. Southampton

Southampton look set to lose one member of their squad, and it comes at the worst possible time. Summer signing Sofiane Boufal has been in fine form recently but will jet off to Gabon to represent Morocco in just over three weeks. Saints fans will be hoping that a group featuring Ivory Coast and DR Congo is enough to see Herve Renard's men sent home early.

Sofiane Boufal

Boufal scored the winning goal against Middlesbrough earlier this month

7. Man United

Manchester United's loss of Eric Bailly would have been seen as disastrous earlier in the season, but Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo's unlikely partnership means the Red Devils should be able to cope without the Ivorian centre-back.

6. Liverpool

United's chief rivals arguably have it worse, however: Sadio Mane has been terrific since joining Liverpool in the summer, and his departure to play for Senegal will be testing for Jurgen Klopp. The Reds take on Jose Mourinho's men just one day after the tournament finishes and will hope to have Mane back by then, although that's unlikely if Aliou Cisse's men make it through to the latter stages.

Philippe Coutinho should at least be back from injury by then, but the ex-Southampton man offers a different, more direct threat as part of a fluid front three. It's not all bad news for Liverpool, though: like West Brom's Nyom, Cameroonian defender Joel Matip has also opted to remain with his club during the competition.

Bit of a blow...

18th-placed Sunderland are learning that it never rains but pours, with Didier Ndong, Wahbi Khazri and Lamine Kone all preparing to jet off to Gabon

5. Everton

Elsewhere on Merseyside, Everton will have to cope without Idrissa Gueye – arguably their best player so far this season. The Toffees' chief ball-winner will shortly be hooking up with Senegal, but Yannick Bolasie's knee injury means he'll play no part for DR Congo.

Yannick Bolasie

Bolasie isn't expected back for quite some time

4. Sunderland

18th-placed Sunderland are learning that it never rains but pours, with Didier Ndong, Wahbi Khazri and Lamine Kone all preparing to jet off to Gabon. The Black Cats don't have a great amount of strength in depth and may struggle to replace their three absentees, particularly Ndong in the centre of the park.

Next: Who's getting hit hardest?