Next year the African Nations Cup is once again in full flow as Zambia look to defend their title in South Africa. As always the competition will have an effect on global football as many stars players from the bigger leagues consider joining up with their countries in a bid to become kings of their home continent.
The Confederation of African Football has set the deadline for the submission of squads for January 9th; with the full list of 23-players being named by midnight. Any late submissions will see a substantial fine and the loss of a player from the list.
Some teams have announced their preliminary squads or training camp teams early but this of course doesn’t cater for the English League system whose continued lack of a winter break means most of the English based players will not be available until shortly before the competition starts on the 19th January.
But which Premier League and football league teams are going to win and lose from the Africa Cup of Nations?
Here is a country-by-country guide for Group A.
Unless there is a dramatic U-turn from recent international retiree Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar the Premier League should remain largely unaffected by the host nation’s squad choices. Lower down the football pyramid however and Crystal Palace could be without midfield enforcer Kagisho Dikgacoi and Oldham Athletic could lose Dean Furman to the Bafana Bafana. Norwich City winger Andrew Surman is also eligible but has made his intentions clear that he will not play for the country of his birth.
No current Premier League interest however former Manchester United and Hull City striker Manucho will be looking to add to his impressive goal record for the Palancas Negras.
Interestingly The Atlas Lions qualification could have had a bigger impact on the Premier League than is being felt. Adel Taarabt is not selected for the squad; the QPR player had given mixed signals as to whether he would accept a call-up, but there are others who have been. Oussama Assaidi and Karim El Ahmadi of Liverpool and Aston Villa respectively are in, but Maraoune Chamakh of Arsenal has also not been selected
The shock qualifiers from the tiny archipelago nation do not have any current players who play in the UK. However their effect is still felt in the Premier League as they qualified at the expense of Cameroon. That means the likes of QPR defender Stephane M’Bia, Tottenham full-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Norwich defender Sebastian Bassong and Wrexham goalie Joslain Mayebi will not be lost at the turn of the year.
Who do you think loses out most from the 2013 African Cup of Nations?
image: © wonker