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Zaha and Bailly in Ivory Coast ANC squad

Zaha and Bailly in Ivory Coast ANC squad

Wilfried Zaha has been called up to Ivory Coast's provisional squad for the African Cup of Nations - and could be missing until early February.

The Crystal Palace winger's inclusion follows confirmation a few weeks ago that he had switched his worldwide allegiance to the Elephants.

He will potentially miss four league games, including one against relegation rivals Sunderland, and two FA Cup ties, if Ivory Coast reach the final on Feb 5.

Wilfried Zaha has rebuffed Gareth Southgate and will become the first England player for more than 50 years to switch worldwide allegiances when he joins up with Ivory Coast for their defence of the Africa Cup of Nations next month.

Gareth Southgate attempted to persuade Zaha to pledge his future to England after it emerged the winger was considering representing the Elephants going forward.

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But as both matches were friendlies - Federation Internationale de Football Association rules allow him to commit his worldwide future to his country of birth.

The squad also includes Manchester United defender Eric Bailly, recently recovered from injury, and Stoke City striker Wilfried Bony. "But we have had several weeks to get used to the idea", Dussuyer told reporters at a press conference in Abidjan on Wednesday as quoted by BBC Sport.

The defending champions have a training camp in Abu Dhabi starting on 2 January and have arranged an global friendly with the 1978 finalists Uganda Cranes.

Zaha's new Palace boss, Sam Allardyce, will sit down with him this week in the hope that the player will not travel to play in the African Cup of Nations for the Ivory Coast in January.

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