Which players go to AFCON and Asian Cup? (+Impact on FPL)

fpl afcon asian cup

With less than a month to go to the AFCON and Asian Cup kick-off, FPL managers worldwide are preparing for the expected changes in their squads. Some big FPL assets are set to depart for their countries to pursue continental glory.

In this article, we will look at which FPL assets will be affected in each Premier League team and suitable replacements for the departing players.

AFCON (Africa Cup of Nations): When, in which gameweek, does AFCON start?

AFCON is scheduled to start on 13 January 2024 (In Gameweek 21)  and will last until 11 February 2024 (Gameweek 24). This means some players will miss up to 4 Gameweeks between GW 21 – GW 24 depending on how far a team progresses.

Read more: When will players return from AFCON to Premier League?

There is a possibility that we will see some players return to their clubs and be ready for selection by Gamweek 22 as the final group stage matches will be played on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th of January. Players eliminated at the group stage usually return immediately to their clubs. 

Here is a link to all the teams that have qualified for AFCON 2023 which also includes the time frame schedule for the Knockout rounds: AFCON 2023

The Asian Cup

When do players leave for Asian Cup?

The Asian Cup will kick off on 12 January 2024 (1 day before Gameweek 21 deadline) and will last until 10 February 2024. This also means players participating in the Asian Cup will potentially miss 4 Gameweeks from GW 21 – GW 24 depending on how far a team progresses.

We could potentially see some players return to their clubs as early as Gameweek 22 as the final group stage matches will be played on the 22nd, 23rd, 24th and 25th of January.

Here is a link to all the teams that have qualified for the AFC Asian Cup 2023 including the time frame schedule for the Knock out rounds: Asian Cup 2023

AFCON & Asian Cup Schedule during FPL gameweeks

fpl afcon asian cup schedule
FPL & AFCON + Asian cup schedule

See more in our FPL calendar

How AFCON and Asian Cup affect our FPL teams?

With the second wildcard coming into play from GW 20, managers will look to hold or utilise the chip to cover key areas left by players departing for AFCON and the Asian Cup.

Premier League Players Participating in AFCON 2023


  1. Thomas Partey 
  2. Mohamed Elneny 

Aston Villa

  1. Bertrand Traore 


  1. Antoine Semenyo 
  2. Dango Ouattara 


  1. Yoane Wissa 
  2. Onyeka


  1. Tariq Lamptey 
  2. Simon Adingra 


  1. Lyle Foster 


  1. Nickolas Jackson 

Crystal Palace 

  1. Jeffrey Schlupp 
  2. Jordan Ayew


  • Gueye


  1. Calvin Bassey 
  2. Alex Iwobi 
  3. Ballo-Touré


  1. Mohamed Salah 


  1. Issa Kabore

Manchester United

  1. Andre Onana 
  2. Sofyan Amrabat 
  3. Hannibal Mejbri 
  4. Amad Diallo 

Nottingham Forest

  1. Serge Aurier 
  2. Willy Boly
  3. Ibrahim Sangaré
  4. Olu Aina
  5. Kouyaté
  6. Niakhaté

Sheffield United

  1. Yasser Larouci
  2. Anis Slimane


  1. Yves Bissouma
  2. Pape Matar Sarr

West Ham

  1. Saïd Benrahma 
  2. Mohammed Kudus 
  3. Maxwel Cornet 
  4. Nayef Aguerd 


  1. Rayan Aït-Nouri

Premier League Players Participating in AFC Asian Cup 2023


  • Takehiro Tomiyasu 


  • Saman Ghoddos 


  • Kaoru Mitoma 


  • Wataru Endo 


  • Son Heung-min 


  • Hwang Hee-chan


The only teams that will not be affected are Newcastle United and Manchester City.

Players not going to AFCON

Abdoulaye Doucouré – Opted to no longer represent Mali after falling out with the Mali FA. He will stay with Everton and will be available for selection for his club.

Jeffrey Schlupp – Schlupp has not played for Ghana since 2021 and also missed out on the World Cup with Ghana. It is highly unlikely that he will participate in AFCON 2023.

Onana sitation

Andre Onana – There were rumors and speculations that Onana could miss out on AFCON and stay in Manchester to secure his spot as the number-one Goalkeeper for United. However, he is included in Cameroon’s AFCON squad

Key Talking Points

Mohamed Salah – £13.2m, 51.6% TSB

Currently the leading FPL points top-scoring player is more than likely to join Egypt as he is also the team captain for his country. His absence is likely to be filled by Diogo Jota and Gakpo for the period he will be on national duty.

If fit, Jota could be a great differential for just £7.7m or Luis Diaz for £7.4m allowing managers to redistribute funds to other key areas. Liverpool are the second-highest goal scorers in the Premier League making them an attractive option for attacking positions.

This will also make Trent Alexander-Arnold a viable option with the extra funds floating around.

Tottenham lose 3 Key Players

The loss of Bissouma and Sarr will leave Spurs weak in midfield and vulnerable in facing attacks which could lead to conceding more goals. This will directly affect returns for big FPL assets like Pedro Porro, Cristian Romero and Destiny Udogie as they will be less likely to have clean sheet returns. The loss of Son Heung-min will further dent the Spurs squad as goals output will be affected.

However, Madisson is expected to be back by the time the 2 tournaments start which could help lessen the impact of an absent Son. This will also likely result in increased minutes for Richarlison and Brennan Johnson until Son`s return.

A decision could be made to switch Son to Saka or downgrade Son to assets like Bowen, Palmer, Gordon or Sterling and redistribute funds to other key areas in your squad.

Brentford lose Mbeumo and Wissa

Mbeumo currently has the 4th highest points tally among all midfielders in FPL. However, Ivan Toney`s suspension ends in January making him available for selection from GW 22. He is likely to take back the role of penalty taker from Mbeumo once he is back on the pitch.

The loss of Mbeumo and Wissa will likely mean more playing time for Maupay, Shade, Damsgaard and Lewis Potter if fit. Pivoting to a differential like Doucoure (£5.6m) or upgrading to a more safe pick like Maddison (£7.8m) could be on the cards for some managers.

Martinelli (£7.8m) is also a sound differential but a high-risk choice given his low returns this season.

Finding a Suitable Hwang Hee-chan Replacement

With the absence of Hwang (£5.8m), it may be a viable option to pivot to Neto (£5.6m) (if fit), Cole Palmer (£5.5m), Anthony Gordon(£6.2m)  or Doucoure (£5.6m).

Impact of Jordan Ayew`s Absence on Crystal Palace

The absence of Ayew will likely be felt by Palace when he joins Ghana for AFCON. He plays an important role in his club. He is the most fouled player in the league and often wins free-kicks in dangerous areas and generally works hard for his club.

This will mean fewer set-piece goals for Palace reducing the appeal for Crystal Palace defenders like Joachim Andersen and Marc Guehi

Perfect time to Bring in Nkunku

Nickolas Jackson has featured for Senegal in most games in 2023 often coming off the bench. This makes a call-up very likely. His absence is however likely to be filled by the returning Nkunku (£7.3m) – if fit.

In that period, Chelsea will face Fulham (H), Liverpool (A), Wolves (H) and Palace (A) which is a decent run of fixtures. If he plays as the number 9 then it will more than likely cause managers to bring him in.


Fantasy Premier League Website – FPL Website

Premier League Website – Premier League

Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

CAF Online – AFCON Schedule and Fixtures

AFC Asian Cup – Asian Cup Schedule

Sports News Africa – Doucoure Rejects Mali AFCON Call-up

Ghana Web – Schlupp rejects Ghana Call-up

Martin Ndegwa

I am an FPL and Football Content Writer who loves to write informative and engaging content for readers.

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