Wilfred Bony

Which Premier League stars are away at the Africa Cup of Nations and Asian Cup?

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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.

Crystal Palace

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

Leicester City

Riyad Mahrez (Algeria)–1,216 mins; 23 chances


Kolo Toure (Ivory Coast)–551 mins; 16 tackles

Manchester City

Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast)–1,523 mins; 7 goals

Wilfried Bony (Ivory Coast)–1,302 mins; 9 goals

Newcastle United

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

Stoke City

Mame Biram Diouf (Senegal)–1,354 mins; 5 goals

Swansea City

Ki Sung-yueng (South Korea)–1,728 mins; 16 chances

Tottenham Hotspur

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

WATCH: Premier League Sunday Round 16 highlights

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Premier League weekends keep rolling, as Round 16 commenced this weekend, and only two games took place on Sunday with Manchester United defeating Liverpool 3-0 and Tottenham defeating Swansea City, 2-1.

David de Gea was the hero for United with multiple important stops as United captured their sixth consecutive league win, and Liverpool now sits in 10th place with 22 points. The opening goal from Wayne Rooney was followed by a controversial headed score from Juan Mata, where it appeared he was offside, while Van Persie essentially notched the game-clinching strike on the counter attack in the 71st minute.

The Spurs bolstered their position in the standings, and Harry Kane got the victorious home side off to a quick lead with his header in the 4th minute. After striker Wilfred Bony knotted the scoreline at 1-1, former Ajax man Christian Eriksen blasted the result-deciding shot for Tottenham, snagging the advantage in the 89th minute.

Yesterday’s results

Leicester City 0-1 Manchester City

Crystal Palace 1-1

Chelsea 2-0 Hull City

Arsenal 4-1 Newcastle

Sunderland 1-1 West Ham

Burnley FC 1-0 Southampton

West Brom 1-0 Aston Villa

Swansea manager Garry Monk on loss to Tottenham: It was ‘the classic sucker punch’

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Swansea hadn’t beat Tottenham Hotspur for over 32 years, the last time coming in 1982, and on Sunday, the Spurs had the occasion to extend this winning streak against the Swans at Liberty Stadium.

Tottenham was able to maintain their consistently steady form vs. their Premier League opponent, as Mauricio Pochettino’s side was able to come away with the 2-1 victory.

Off of Christian Eriksen’s corner kick, midfielder Harry Kane netted a 4th minute header at the far post to provide his squad with the early advantage, but Wilfred Bony, enjoying the PL’s fifth-best goal scoring tally, drew Garry Monk and Co. level in the 48th minute when he finished his originally blocked effort on a second attempt at close range.

[RELATED: Recap of Swansea v. Spurs

“Difficult start for us, we gave away a cheap goal, an individual mistake from us, and obviously that gave them the lead. It took us 15, 20 minutes in the first half and we grew back into the game, started to create and get the momentum with us,” Monk said of City’s start to the contest.

Swansea began to find somewhat of a groove on the offensive end in the last 45 minutes, with Jonjo Shelvey and Jefferson Montero failing to covert on plausible opportunities. But it was Eriksen in the 89th minute who managed to turn one point into three points when he turned and fired a low strike that skipped into the back of the net from the top of the box.

This conversion marked a difficult outcome that Monk could only rue.

“It only looked like there was going to be one team that were going to win the game,” he said. “The classic sucker punch, you’ve done all you can, you’ve created numerous chances to win the game.”

“We were on the front foot in the second half. In terms of what we were working on, it was disappointing not to put those chances away, to at least hit the net a few times.”

After a Swansea now stands at ninth place in the league table, while Tottenham has moved up to seventh on the heels of this result.

Premier League Saturday recap: West Ham stuns Manchester City, Sanchez braces Arsenal

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A total of six Premier matches occurred this Saturday in Round 9 play, with the most noteworthy game showing West Ham defeat reigning champion Manchester City.

The Hammers got off to a two-goal lead with scores from Diafra Sakho and Morgan Amalfitano, but when David Silva halved the advantage with his strike in the 77th minute, City desperately threw men forward in hopes of salvaging the draw.

In other news, Hull City muscled Liverpool to a 0-0 draw, as Brendan Rodgers’ squad hopes to break the top-five in the coming weeks. Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez and Swansea striker Wilfred Bony both netted braces to provided their squads with 2-0 victories over Sunderland and Leicester City respectively, while West Brom and Crystal Palace traded penalty kicks en route to a 2-2 result.

Sadio Mane’s lone goal helped the Saints edge Stoke City, 1-0, to keep their Premier League dream season alive.

Men in Blazers: Round 7’s top goal celebrations

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In this 1:15 segment, Roger and Michael go over some of the best goal celebrations of this past Premier League weekend. Swansea’s Wilfred Bony and Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson are among others who take the spotlight with their post-goal scoring moves.

Follow Rog on Twitter at @rogbennett and Davo at @embassydavies.