2021 AFCON: Patrick Vieira tight-lipped on Crystal Palace trio Ayew, Zaha and Kouyate

Published on: 02 January 2022

Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira would not confirm whether three of his players will be available for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations.

Jordan Ayew, Cheikhou Kouyate and Wilfried Zaha were all due to travel to take part in this month's tournament.

But Kouyate and Zaha were both absent for the loss against West Ham United, with Ayew limping heavily at the end.

Vieira said the first two were "not available" to play, adding "no comment" when asked about their Afcon chances.

When questioned by BBC Sport about Ayew's possible injury, he said: "I don't know, I haven't spoken to the doctor yet."

The 24-team Africa Cup of Nations begins on 9 January and will feature a host of Premier League and Europe-based stars.

English top-flight teams do not have to release players until 3 January.

Kouyate was named in the Senegal squad on Friday while Zaha was included by Ivory Coast and Ayew is part of a provisional list announced by Ghana.

Zaha had been expected to return from suspension against West Ham while Kouyate started Palace's win over Norwich on Tuesday.

Ayew played the closing minutes against West Ham with a pronounced limp as the home side had used all three of their substitutes.

Source: BBC