During the International breaks, Football activities are usually halted across the top-flight European Leagues while Players that got invited to represent their Nations teams in their International fixtures get the chance to travel without missing any fixtures at club levels.
However, things are going to get a little bit different for the whole of January and some days in February because of the African Cup Of Nations tournament. The difference is that European Leagues won't be halted for the African Cup Of Nations. Live actions of football will be taking place in Africa and across European top-flight leagues concurrently.
The African Cup Of Nations (AFCON) which will be hosted by Cameroon was supposed to take place during the last Summer when European Leagues had ended to avoid clashes with the schedule of the Players involved but it was later shifted to the Winters and will be played between 9 January and 6 February 2022.
Naturally, a handful of the top clubs in the English premier league will be affected by this development. Liverpool will have to do without Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah for a better part of the Reds' fixtures in January. Arsenal will be without Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe, Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny.
Like Arsenal and Liverpool, Chelsea is also affected by the upcoming AFCON but the Blues have it easier. Unlike Arsenal and Liverpool that will be without some of their top Players, only Hakim Ziyech and Edouard Mendy will leave West London in January for the AFCON.
Depending on how far Senegal and Morocco go in the African Nations Cup, Chelsea could be without Hakim Ziyech and Edouard Mendy for as long as 5 weeks.
The duration of the AFCON is just 4 weeks but Football London reported that there's a FIFA rule that stated that Players have to be released by their clubs a week before the commencement of competition they were invited for.
This means that both Hakim Ziyech and Edouard Mendy will have to leave London during the last week of December. The African duo could potentially miss up to 6 league Matches including a clash with Brighton and Hove Albion, a home game with Liverpool, a trip to the Etihad Stadium to take on Manchester City, a London derby with Tottenham Hotspurs at Stamford Bridge before taking on Brighton and Hove Albion once again for the second leg.
Both Hakim Ziyech and Edouard Mendy could also miss the Semifinals of the Carabao Cup but that's if the Blues reached that stage in the competition. There's also the FIFA club world cup to be concerned about too. There's no definite date for the Intercontinental tournament yet but it's been confirmed that it will take place next year.
Being without Hakim Ziyech might not really have any effect on Chelsea because of the multiple options in Chelsea attack but that can't be said about Edouard Mendy who has kept 5 clean sheets this season.
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