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Report: Why Chelsea Could Be Without Edouard Mendy & Hakim Ziyech From Boxing Day

Chelsea could lose Edouard Mendy and Hakim Ziyech to the Africa Cup of Nations on Boxing Day, according to reports. 

The tournament begins on January 9 and it will finish with the final on February 6. It will take place during the Premier League season, which will impact the majority of the sides in the league. 

It has been reported by the Athletic, that around 40 players could all leave their clubs shortly after their Boxing Day fixtures, which would include Blues duo Mendy and Ziyech. 

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This could see Mendy and Ziyech miss a large chunk of games should their sides reach the final. Games against Brighton, Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham could all be missed in the league, as well as a third round FA Cup tie. 

Should Chelsea progress, they could also be without the pair for the FA Cup fourth round as well as the Carabao Cup semi-finals should they reach the last four. 

Thomas Tuchel would be forced to utilise and show his faith solely in Kepa Arrizabalaga in between the sticks for the Blues, while their is more depth in attack to cover for Ziyech's absence.

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As per the report, discussions will remain ongoing between the clubs and federations over whether players can be released at a later date. 

Chelsea could have their players for the clashes against Brighton and Liverpool if they allow for the players involved at the AFCON to be released for international duty on January 3. 

A source told the Athletic: 'Special dispensation for a January 3 release is only likely to be given if it applies across the board — to all clubs and nations — for the integrity of the competition'.


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