Saturday 24 February 2018

Jonathan Liew: The Premier League teams will suffer most due to the Africa Cup of Nations

FROM the Eagles of Mali to the Elephants of Ivory Coast, from the Lions of Senegal to the Black Antelopes of Angola, the great migration south is about to begin. The Africa Cup of Nations is one of the few occasions that international football takes precedence over the domestic calendar and, for almost a month, the Premier League will be a marginally poorer place as many of its leading players join the biennial exodus to Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

For Africans, this tournament means everything. For certain Premier League managers, however, it will serve as a profound irritant.

Their ringing complaints may sound a little less shrilly this year, given that some of the giants of African football – Nigeria, Cameroon and Algeria, for example – failed to qualify.

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