Some of the English Premier League’s players that participated in the Africa Cup of Nations 2017 are headed back to their clubs in the United Kingdom.
The AFCON 2017 tournament has thrown up a few surprises, but Fantasy Premier League managers will be excited about the return of some big name players to their ranks.
As outlined by PremierLeague.com, Algeria and Ivory Coast’s early exits are massive helps, to not only FPL managers, but to their respective English Premier League sides.
Two teams fighting relegation will be extremely excited about the returns of players from both nations. Algeria’s Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani will rejoin Leicester this weekend.
The Foxes are five points above the relegation zone and are at a make or break point in the season.
The club have less than four weeks until their Champions League round of 16 tie against Sevilla. Making the team’s plight to pull away from the relegation zone more difficult is their Friday night fixture against Derby in the FA Cup.
Slimani is tied for the team lead in goals with five, while Mahrez has tallied three. Slimani has also contributed three assists, which leads the club.
Crystal Palace sees Wilfried Zaha return just at the right time. The winger has watched his club drop their last four matches and sink into the relegation zone following Swansea’s win at Anfield in gameweek 22.
AFCON 2017 was not kind to Zaha or the Ivory Coast, but he now has a chance to improve Palace and get them out of danger.
Zaha leads Crystal Palace in assists with six and is third on the team with four goals. The Ivorian international has been very good for a mediocre side, but his presence will be invaluable when gameweek 23 kicks off.
Teams that are still affected by the AFCON 2017 tournament won’t have players available until gameweek 25, at least that is what is expected. But any player that features in the final or third place game, may be out longer due to fatigue.
Add in the flight from Gabon and players at the AFCON 2017 competition may not be back until gameweek 26.
There are still nearly a dozen Premier League players at AFCON 2017. Arsenal, Everton and Liverpool still have players missing, and Liverpool’s loss of Sadio Mane has been felt in their recent games against Swansea and Southampton.
Eight teams remain at the AFCON 2017 tournament: Ghana, DR Congo, Tunisia, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Cameroon, Egypt and Morocco. The final will take place on February 5th in Gabon.
Gameweek 25 kicks off on February 11th and most Premier League teams will hope all AFCON 2017 players have returned by then.