Africa Cup Of Nations 2021: Dates, confirmed groups and Premier League participants with Mohamed Salah, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, Edouard Mendy and Wilfried Zaha in line to compete

The 2021 Africa Cup Of Nations is just around the corner as some of the world’s best players prepare to go head-to-head in Cameroon.

Players from all over the Premier League and the rest of the world will leave their clubs at a crucial point in the season in order to help their nation earn the right to be named the top football country in Africa.

Mo Salah, Edouard Mendy and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang look set to compete in the Africa Cup Of Nations

Riyad Mahrez captained Algeria to victory over Senegal in Cairo in the final of the last tournament in 2019.

And now, with the competition lasting around a month, there’s a feast of football for fans to look forward to once again.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the competition.

AFCON 2021: Dates

The 2021 Africa Cup Of Nations begins on Sunday, January 9 with host nation Cameroon taking on Burkina Faso.

The knockout stages of the competition start on Sunday, January 23 with the competition’s final set for Sunday, February 6.

Group Stage: Sunday, January 9 to Thursday, January 20

Round of 16: Sunday, January 23 to Wednesday, January 26

Quarter-final: Saturday, January 29 to Sunday, January 30

Semi-finals: Wednesday, February 2 to Thursday, February 3

Third place play-off: Sunday, February 6

Final: Sunday, February 6

Mo Salah looks likely to be missing for a month due to international duty with Egypt

AFCON 2021: Competition format

The 24 competing nations have been split into six groups of four teams with each side facing three group fixtures.

The six group winners, six group runners up and the four best third-place sides in the group will then progress to the round of 16.

From there each tie will be a one-off encounter with the clash decided by extra time and penalties to decide who will progress to the next round.

AFCON 2021: Confirmed groups

Group A

Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Cape Verde

Group B

Senegal, Zimbabwe, Guinea, Malawi

Group C

Morocco, Ghana, Comoros, Gabon

Group D

Nigeria, Egypt, Sudan, Guinea-Bissau

Group E

Algeria, Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea, Cote D’Ivoire

Group F

Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania, Gambia

Chelsea will be without star goalkeeper Edouard Mendy as he competes for Senegal
AFP or licensors

AFCON 2021: Potential Premier League participants


Thomas Partey (Ghana)

Mohamed Elneny (Egypt)

Pierre Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon)

Nicolas Pepe (Ivory Coast)

Aston Villa

Mahmoud Trezeguet (Egypt)

Bertrand Traore (Burkina Faso)

Marvelous Nakamba (Zimbabwe)


Julian Jeanvier (Guinea)

Frank Onyeka (Nigeria)

Tariqe Fosu-Henry (Ghana)


Yves Bissouma (Mali)


Maxwel Cornet (Ivory Coast)


Edouard Mendy (Senegal)

Hakim Ziyech (Morocco)

Crystal Palace

Cheikhou Kouyate (Senegal)

Jeffrey Schlupp (Ghana)

Jordan Ayew (Ghana)

Wilfried Zaha (Ivory Coast)

Zaha’s Ivory Coast lost to Algeria in the AFCON quarter-finals
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Jean-Philippe Gbamin (Ivory Coast)

Alex Iwobi (Nigeria)


Daniel Amartey (Ghana)

Nampalys Mendy (Senegal)

Wilfred Ndidi (Nigeria)

Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria)


Mo Salah (Egypt)

Naby Keita (Guinea)

Sadio Mane (Senegal)

Manchester City

Riyad Mahrez (Algeria)

Manchester United

Eric Bailly (Ivory Coast)

Amad Diallo (Ivory Coast)


Moussa Djenepo (Mali)

Mohammed Salisu (Ghana)


Peter Etebo (Nigeria)

William Troost-Ekong (Nigeria)

Adam Masina (Morocco)

Ismaila Sarr (Senegal)

Emmanuel Dennis (Nigeria)

West Ham

Said Benrahma (Algeria)


Romain Saiss (Morocco)

Willy Boly (Ivory Coast)