AFCON player release development gives Liverpool title advantage over Chelsea – Renuka Odedra


It’s been announced that players playing for their national teams in the Africa Cup Of Nations will be allowed to play for their club until January 3rd.

The competition kicks off in Cameroon on January 9th. The adjusted date means that players will stay at the clubs longer instead of leaving on the formerly announced date of December 27th.

A letter by FIFA sent to the World Leagues Forum, and European Leagues read, “This decision is taken in the spirit of goodwill and solidarity with the affected clubs in recognition of the fact that they, like all members of the football community, have been adversely affected by the onset of the Covid pandemic.”

But, this new date could come to hurt Chelsea rather than help them. Chelsea meet Liverpool on the 2nd of January, a day before players leave for the competition.

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This means that Mohamed Salah will be able to play for the Reds at Stamford Bridge and with the Egyptian international in lethal form this season. The latest news won’t be a comfort for Thomas Tuchel’s side.

His stats alone will make for scary reading as the 29-year-old has scored 15 goals and assisted nine in the league this season. A run that he’s not going to let up any time soon.

Naby Keita and Sadio Mane are the other two players in the Liverpool squad who leave for AFCON. Chelsea will only have one omission in their squad through Edouard Mendy. Hakim Ziyech hasn’t been named in Morocco’s squad due to a falling out with national manager Vahid Halilhodzic.

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Chelsea would have preferred that players leave earlier in many ways because they can deal with Mendy’s departure as Kepa Arizzabalaga can fill in. But, competing with the creative powerhouse of Salah and Mane might be too much in a time where they are struggling defensively.

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Source by Football London

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