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Eric Bailly’s Ivory Coast qualify for AFCON

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The centre-back is set to miss some important United games early next year.

Hull City v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

The Ivory Coast’s recent draw against Sierra Leone has ensured they'll have the chance of defending their African Cup of Nations title in Gabon early next year. Unfortunately for Manchester United, that will mean their defensive star Eric Bailly will be away for some potentially crucial domestic games — including a clash with Liverpool at Old Trafford.

The tournament gets underway on January 14th, and will run to February 5th. Bailly — assuming, of course, he makes the final squad — will miss matches against Liverpool, Hull City and Stoke, no matter how far the Ivory Coast progress. If they do make a deep run, Bailly will also be absent for a trip to Leicester City early in February.

The 22-year-old has been capped 16 times by his national team since making his debut last year. He was part of the team that beat Ghana in the final last February, and scored a final in the dramatic 9-8 penalty shootout that eventually separated the sides.