The four Manchester United and City players at the African Cup of Nations and how it will impact their clubs

A look at which United and City players are playing at the 2022 tournament and how to watch it.

The African Cup of Nations has begun in Cameroon with the hosts kicking-off their tournament with a 2-1 win over Burkina Faso in Group A on Sunday.

The competition was meant to be held last year, however, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was postponed until 2022.

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It will last from 9 January to 6 February with 24 nations competing for the trophy. Algeria are the defending champions, lifting their second title in 2019.

All games will be shown live on Sky Sports and 33 current Premier League players, as well as two who are out on loan from their parent clubs, will represent their countries at AFCON.

In terms of Manchester United and City, both clubs have two individuals playing for their nations in Cameroon:

Eric Bailly - Ivory Coast

United centre-back Eric Bailly is competing in his third AFCON for Ivory Coast. The 27-year-old has 41 caps to his name for Les Elephants and will be hoping to repeat the success he had in 2015 when they were victorious in the competition.

Bailly has earned 41 international caps to date. Credit: Getty.

His absence from the Red Devils squad will be noted given the injury to Harry Maguire and recent return to action for Raphael Varane and Phil Jones.

However, Victor Lindelof should also be in contention for a place in Ralf Rangnick’s side following his Covid isolation coming to an end.

Bailly could start for Ivory Coast in their Group E opening match against Equatorial Guinea on January 12.

Hannibal Mejbri - Tunisia

Hannibal Mejbri, commonly known as just Hannibal, is set to represent Tunisia in his first AFCON at the age of only 18.

The United academy midfielder is one of the youngest players at the tournament and will be hoping he can help the 2004 victors get off to a good start this year.

He has only eight minutes under his belt in the Red Devils’ senior team, coming on as a substitute in their final game of 2020-21 campaign.

Riyad Mahrez - Algeria

Algeria captain and City forward Riyad Mahrez is looking to guide his nation to their second consecutive AFCON title.

The 30-year-old is one of the Greens’ star players and could make his 70th cap for them in their Group E opener against Sierra Leone on 12 January

Luckily for his club they have strength in depth in the wing position, though he’ll be a miss with his 13 goals and five assists in 25 appearances so far for the Sky Blues this season, with Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Gabriel Jesus and others all able to play there.

Mahrez’s goal was initially ruled offside but VAR overturned the decision. Credit: Getty.

Issa Kabore - Burkina Faso

Despite joining City in July 2020, Issa Kabore hasn’t played a minute for the club since his arrival from Mechelen.

This is due to the right-back being loaned straight back to the Belgian side last season and is now spending this campaign on loan at the Sky Blues’ French affiliate club Troyes.

Kabore, who is interesting wearing the number 9 shirt for Burkina Faso at AFCON this year, earned his 10th cap for his nation during their 2-1 Group A loss to Cameroon on Sunday.

The 20-year-old will be hoping to turn Les Etalons fortunes around come Thursday when they face Cape Verde in their second group match.