West Ham United star Saïd Benrahma set to miss FA Cup and Premier League clashes with Leeds United

Saïd Benrahma has left London to join up with Algeria for the African Cup of Nations, with international duty set to keep him out of action for both of the Hammers' Leeds United clashes.

By Flora Snelson
Thursday, 6th January 2022, 9:18 am

West Ham will host Leeds in the FA Cup on January 9 and then again in the Premier League on January 16.

Benrahma, along with Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez, is currently preparing to help Algeria defend the AFCON trophy after the North African side won the competition for the second time in 2019.

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Thirty-four Premier League players have departed to represent their countries, and the date on which players will return to league action depends on each nation's progress in the tournament, which runs from the opening game on January 9 until the final on February 6.

Algeria will kick off on January 11 with a Group E clash against Sierra Leone before taking on Equatorial New Guinea five days later.

Benrahma won't return to the London Stadium until at least January 20, when Algeria play their final Group E game against the Ivory Coast, meaning the winger will miss both Leeds fixtures.

West Ham head coach David Moyes could be without the winger for much longer, of course, if Benrahma's national side achieve anything like the progress made at the last tournament.

West Ham United winger Saïd Benrahma. Pic: Alex Livesey.

The Aïn Témouchent-born attacker will be sorely missed by the East London side, with Benrahma playing a central role in West Ham's Premier League season, starting all but two league games as the Hammers climbed to 5th place.

Once a Whites transfer target, Benrahma was among the top-performing players during the West Ham's 2-1 comeback victory at Elland Road in September.

The Algerian registered a goal contribution in all three of the Hammers' most recent Premier League games, adding to his season tally of eight goals and four assists.

Due to injury, West Ham will also be without Kurt Zouma (thigh), Angelo Ogbonna (knee), Aaron Cresswell (lower back), while Pablo Fornals could return after testing positive for coronavirus in late December.

Saïd Benrahma battles with Kalvin Phillips for possession during West Ham's 2-1 win over Leeds United at Elland Road in September. Pic: Stu Forster.

Meanwhile, Leeds are one of four top-flight teams - along with Newcastle, Norwich, and Tottenham - who do not have any eligible players and won't be affected by AFCON, though could be missing up to seven players through injury for Sunday's FA Cup tie.

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Saïd Benrahma celebrates scoring during West Ham United's 4-1 win over Watford in December. Pic: Marc Atkins.