Why African Cup of Nations (AFCON) Will Hunt Chelsea and Liverpool in January 2022
It seem as if this seasons Premier league has been covenanted for either Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool, with the favorite being any of them. It has also made the league more interesting and competitive. Anyone among the 3 clubs that lose a match goes on to replace the other in his position. Today the Premier league table is as open as the deep blue sea for the top 4 but December and January will truly affect the table. Welcome to Sports Talk Social from @salvadornkpara.
The Talking Point
Last week Liverpool coach Jürgen Klopp called the African Continental Competition (AFCON) as a small competition. I'll say that the statement was born out of frustration of his teams position in the Premier league come January when 3 of his key players; Mohammed Salah, Sadio Mane and Narby Kaita will be going to the African Cup of Nations (AFCON). With the busy festive season and the week in weekout football matches, the fear of possible injuries and building his team around Salah might be a serious problem to his Premier league title race.
The African Cup of Nations
The African Cup of Nations will begin in January 9, 2022 and the first match will be played between the host nation Cameroon Vs Burkina Faso. The competition will actually end on the 6 February, 2022. Although most European nations don't value the competition, but it's an African competition and it matters to the Africans just like the Euros and how European nations value their continental football. This tournament will host the likes of Edouard Mendy (Chelsea), Mohammed Salah, Narby Kaita and Sadio Mane (Liverpool), William Troose Ekong (Watford), Bailey (Manchester United).
Premier League by January
As I earlier said, the December period will be very stressful for players in the Premier league and there might be possible injuries. With the quantities of players moving to play for their countries in the African Cup of Nations, most of these above mentioned Premier league clubs will suffer setbacks in January. Players will not join their teams until probably in mid-February after the competition, although it depends on when the players and their countries were knocked out of the competition. Looking at the quantities of players going from the Premier league to the tournament, you'll observe that Liverpool offer's the competition more qualities in terms of numbers of players moving at once. Chelsea goal keeper Mendy who has been tremendous this season will also go for the competition.
Among Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City who are currently occupying the top 3 positions in the league table and the upcoming African Cup of Nations in January, Manchester City will be the favorites to top the league table between January and February probably till the end of the season. The only way this could happen is if Kepa will not step up in goal for Chelsea. As for Liverpool they'll need extra miracles to be at the top of the league in February.
Finally, anything can happen in football and my predictions might not be exactly as I've said it. Liverpool might even top the league without Salah and Mane. What's your view about the Premier league table come January and February. Thanks for reading through my post.