For many teams across the Premier League, the month of January can end up setting the tone, positively or negatively, for the second half of the season.
And for some squads, adaptation to the absences of players may be needed, since the 2015 Asia Cup and the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) will hold 19 players away from league competition.
The Asia Cup started on Jan. 9 and will run until the last day of the month, Jan. 31. AFCON will officially begin tomorrow and end on Feb.8.
The most notable footballer off to this tournament is Manchester City man Yaya Toure, who has scored seven goals on the year and utilized his imposing midfield presence. He is joined by recent City acquisition and fellow Ivorian Wilfred Bony, formerly a dynamic striker for Swansea City.
Papiss Cisse, Newcastle United’s leading scorer with nine goals, is off to perform for his home country of Senegal.
Crystal Palace will miss Mile Jedinak, the 2014 Australia Footballer of the Year, and another important player, Yannick Bolasie, who will represent the Democratic Republic of Congo at AFCON.
For West Ham, forward Diafra Sakho (injury) and defensive midfielder Alex Song (retirement from international duty) will not take the pitch in Africa.
Here’s a full list of the players along with a couple of quick stats on each player’s season thus far, via BBC Sport.
Yannick Bolasie (DR Congo)–1,688 mins; 26 chances
Adlene Guedioura (Algeria)–45 mins; 38 passes
Mile Jedinak (Australia)–1,617 mins; 5 goals
Kwesi Appiah (Ghana)—Has been on loan at Cambridge
Christian Atsu (Ghana)–70 mins; 41 passes
Riyad Mahrez (Algeria)–1,216 mins; 23 chances
Kolo Toure (Ivory Coast)–551 mins; 16 tackles
Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast)–1,523 mins; 7 goals
Wilfried Bony (Ivory Coast)–1,302 mins; 9 goals
Papiss Cisse (Senegal)—633 mins; 9 goals
Cheick Tiote (Ivory Coast)–898 mins; 34 tackles
Sadio Mane (Senegal)–934 mins; 7 goals
Emmanuel Mayuka (Zambia)–49 mins; 14 passes
Maya Yoshida (Japan)–772 mins; 401 passes
Mame Biram Diouf (Senegal)–1,354 mins; 5 goals
Ki Sung-yueng (South Korea)–1,728 mins; 16 chances
Nabil Bentaleb (Algeria)–848 mins; 635 passes
West Ham United
Cheikhou Kouyate (Senegal)–1,328 mins; 45 tackles
West Bromwich Albion
Youssouf Mulumbu (DR Congo)–724 mins; 503 passes