The Africa Cup of Nations 2022 is underway, and many Premier League players will take on leading roles in the 33rd edition of the African national team championship.
The 31 EPL players in the competition face a minimum of three group stage matches, which means they will remain in service with the national team until at least January 20. In the group stage, eight teams will be eliminated and, after a short break, the competition will proceed to the knockout phase of a single game that begins with the round of 16.
As well as seeing how far their favorite players can advance, Premier League fans will also be on the lookout for their potential return. If a national team reaches the AFCON final, those players will remain in Cameroon until February 6.
Key dates of the AFCON 2022 tournament
Here’s how the AFCON tournament schedule breaks down:
- ToGroup stage: Sunday, January 9 – Thursday, January 20
- round of 16: Sunday, January 23 – Wednesday, January 26
- Quarter finals: Saturday, January 29 – Sunday, January 30
- Semifinals: Wednesday February 2 – Thursday February 3
- Final match and for third place: Sunday, February 6
When will the Premier League players return to the clubs?
Premier League players at AFCON 2022 will try to get as deep into the tournament as possible. Here’s a full list of each Premier League club’s players in the tournament, how they’re doing, and when they might return with your club.
Ghana lost a heartthrob to Morocco on a late goal and left 90 minutes before a late substitution. The Black Stars will like to see their chances of recovering against Comoros and Gabon closer.
The other Arsenal players will be in action in the coming days, although they were left out of Gabon’s inaugural victory due to a positive test for COVID-19.
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon – Group C)
- Mohamed Elneny (Egypt – Group D)
- Thomas Partey (Ghana – Group C)
- Nicolás Pepe (Ivory Coast – Group E)
captained Burkina Faso against host nation Cameroon and despite a 2-1 loss, the team performed well enough to give its fans hope of getting out of the group.
could see action for Egypt against Nigeria in their opening Group D match. A knee injury prevented Zimbabwe from participating in the event.
- Bertrand Traore (Burkina Faso – Group A)
- Mahmoud Trezeguet (Egypt – Group D
begins its AFCON tournament on Tuesday with Nigeria.
He was not part of the final AFCON Guinea squad, and also missed the Ghana squad after failing to make a single Premier League appearance this season.
- Frank Onyeka (Nigeria – Group D)
Mali will be one of the last teams to take the field when they face Tunisia on Wednesday.
- Yves Bissouma (Mali – Group F)
It remains to be seen if he will be able to break into the lineup on a star-studded side of Côte d’Ivoire when the Elephants begin their tournament on Wednesday.
- Maxwel Cornet (Ivory Coast – Group E)
The Chelsea goalkeeper was one of the players who was forced to sit down due to a positive test for COVID-19.
Morocco’s regular squad was left out of the team due to a break with the coach and their nation still beat a strong Ghanaian team without him.
- Edouard Mendy (Senegal – Group B)
He started as a forward for Ghana and spent 86 minutes in the 1-0 loss to Morocco. Ghana sidelined Ayew’s teammate at Crystal Palace.
made the full 90s in his familiar central midfield position as Senegal emerged victorious to begin their AFCON 2022 campaign and Côte d’Ivoire will play Equatorial Guinea on Wednesday.
- Jordan Ayew (Ghana – Group C)
- Chiekhou Kouyate (Senegal – Group B)
- Wilfried Zaha (Ivory Coast – Group E)
and Nigeria opens with a tough duel against Mohamed Salah and Egypt (Tuesday).
, who has only three Premier League appearances this season for the Toffees and has reportedly been asked to find a new club, has been left out of the Ivory Coast team.
- Alex Iwobi (Nigeria – Group D)
, who has been on a hot streak with Leicester, turned 90 as a central defender for Ghana in the loss to Morocco. He is listed to play an important role on this team during the competition.
was involved in the COVID-19 outbreak that affected Senegal before it opened. Meanwhile, Nigeria will play its first match on Tuesday.
- Daniel Amartey (Ghana – Group C)
- Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria – Group D)
- Nampalys Mendy (Senegal – Group B)
- Wilfried Ndidi (Nigeria – Group D)
He has already been decisive for tournament favorite Senegal, scoring the penalty kick in injury time in a 1-0 win over Zimbabwe. And he made the full 90 for Guinea in their first 1-0 game over Malawi.
His teammate will have his hands full for Egypt against Nigeria on Tuesday.
- Naby Keita (Guinea – Group B)
- Sadio Mané (Senegal – Group B)
- Mohamed Salah (Egypt – Group D)
and Algeria take the field for the first time on Tuesday, looking to extend their 34-game unbeaten streak.
- Riyad Mahrez (Algeria – Group E)
Ivory Coast are the latest team to make their AFCON 2022 debut in a match against Equatorial Guinea on Wednesday. The Man United is on the team, but he is not.
- Eric Bailly (Ivory Coast – Group E)
Mali and will begin their participation in AFCON 2022 on Wednesday.
did not join Ghana, and his compatriots were not happy.
- Moussa Djenepo (Mali – Group F)
Morocco began their participation in AFCON 2022 with a close 1-0 victory over Ghana. He played the 90 minutes as a left back and his clubmate started and spent 78 minutes in the center of the field.
The goalkeeper and defender will look to help Nigeria get off to a good start against Egypt and Mohamed Salah.
He will not be with Nigeria due to injury, while he was not released to Senegal after a controversial fight between clubs and countries.
- Imran Louza (Morocco – Group C)
- Adam Masina (Morocco – Group C)
- Maduka Okoye (Nigeria – Group D)
- William Troost-Ekong (Nigeria – Group D)
After a good first half of the season with West Ham, he hopes his form will carry over to AFCON with Algeria, starting with the opener against Sierra Leone.
- Said Benrahma (Algeria – Group E)
captained Morocco in their 1-0 win over Ghana. The Wolves’ fellow defender hopes to replicate the result with Côte d’Ivoire on Wednesday.
- Willy Boly (Ivory Coast – Group E)
- Romain Saiss (Morocco – Group C)