Steven Gerrard believes that the African Nations Cup early next year could have a major impact on who wins the Barclays Premier League title, and work in Liverpool's favour.
Liverpool do not have any African players amongst their front-line stars, while many of their title rivals will lose players for three weeks in January when the tournament is played in Angola. Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal all have key players who could be involved between January 10-31.
Gerrard said, in a Liverpool fc.tv interview: "Everyone will have blips and some of the teams lose important players with the African Nations."
Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti will be without Didier Drogba, Michael Essien, John Obi Mikel and Salomon Kalou, while Manchester City chief Mark Hughes will miss the services of summer signings Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure.
Arsenal could be without duo Alex Song and Emmanuel Eboue for their showdown with Manchester United on January 30.
"It's a long season, there are a lot of games and a lot football to be played yet," added Gerrard.
"Chelsea, Tottenham and City have got off to good starts but there is a long way to go before you start predicting who will be up there at the end."
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