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The African Cup of Nations will kickstart in January, and Chelsea were expected to lose African duo Hakim Ziyech and Edouard Mendy to the competition.
Ziyech plays for Morocco while Mendy is Senegal’s first choice goalkeeper, and the Chelsea duo are key men for their respective countries.
Hakim Ziyech was set to miss the game at Stamford Bridge due to his expected participation in the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations competition with Morocco.
Morocco confirmed on Thursday that Ziyech had not been recalled for the tournament, leaving him free to play for Chelsea throughout the entirety of January.
Ziyech has not played for his country since June and missed all six of their World Cup qualifiers this season. Since falling out with Vahid Halilhodzic, the Morocco head coach, Ziyech hasn’t featured for his country, and except there’s a late twist, he won’t be at the African Cup of Nations.
So far, Mendy will be the only Chelsea player that will miss the January games.