Tournament format Premier League teams will need to release their players for AFCON, with the final Premier League games before the tournament taking place across January 1, 2, and 3. The Carabao Cup semi-final first leg is scheduled for the midweek of January 3, the FA Cup third round is scheduled for the weekend of January 8, with AFCON kicking off on January 9 and the group stages finishing on January 20. In that period, the Carabao Cup semi-final second legs are scheduled for the midweek of January 10, and there will be a Premier League round across January 14, 15, and 16.
The tournament format for Premier League
There is also a Premier league round scheduled across January 21, 22, and 23, but players may be able to return in time to feature for their club; Liverpool, for example, has three players likely to feature at AFCON, but play on January 23 at Crystal Palace, three days after the group stage finishes. The AFCON round of 16 takes place from January 23 to January 26, meaning players whose nations qualify for the knockout stages will be unavailable for the Premier League.
The AFCON quarter-finals (January 29 and 30), semi-finals (February 2 and 3). And final/third-place play-off (February 6) could impact the FA Cup fourth-round ties. Scheduled for the weekend of February 5. Before the Premier League returns on the midweek of February 8 and 9 after the winter break.
- January 1, 2, and 3 – Premier League round 21
- Midweek of January 3 – Carabao Cup semi-final first leg
- Weekend of January 8 – FA Cup third round
- January 9 – AFCON group stage starts
- Midweek of January 10 – Carabao Cup semi-final second leg
- January 14, 15, 16 – Premier League round 22
- January 20 – AFCON group stage ends
- January 21, 22, and 23 – Premier League round 23
- January 23 to 26 – AFCON last 16
- January 29 and 30 – AFCON quarter-finals
- February 2 and 3 – AFCON semi-finals
- Weekend of February 5 – FA Cup fourth round
- February 6 – AFCON final and third-place play-off
- February 8 and 9 – Premier League round 24