The Africa Cup of Nations may cause selection difficulties for Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper in the upcoming year.

This week saw the conclusion of the tournament’s qualification process, and all of the participating nations have since been determined. Originally, the competition was slated to happen this past summer. Due to the rainy season in the host country, the Ivory Coast, it was decided to postpone the event.

As a result, the competition will now take place during the Premier League season, causing the participants to miss club matches. Of course, how many they miss will depend on how far each country develops.

Up to eight players for Forest could be affected, missing games as a result. All of the following countries have qualified for the competition: Senegal’s Moussa Niakhate and Cheikhou Kouyate, Ivory Coast’s Willy Bolly, Serge Aurier, and Ibrahim Sangare, Nigeria’s Ola Aina, Taiwo Awoiyi, and Emmanuel Dennis.

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The past few days have seen rumors about Dennis leaving Forest. His last Nigerian appearance was in 2022, but if he performs well between now and January, whether at the City Ground or away from the club, he might gain a spot back in the team.

The contest begins on January 13 and concludes on February 11. So, for the Premier League matches against Brentford (A), Arsenal (H), Bournemouth (A), and Newcastle (H), Forest might be missing up to eight players.

Players might return earlier and resume Premier League action right away, depending on how far their clubs advance in the competition.

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