The 2012 African Cup of Nations field of 16 is now finalized after this past week's round of fixtures. The following teams will be going for the prize in January, with potential Arsenal call-ups in brackets:
Côte D'Ivoire (Gervinho)
Ghana (possibly Emmanuel Frimpong, who's not been capped by anyone yet)
Morocco (Marouane Chamakh)
Now, losing Gervinho and Chamakh is a bit rough, and Frimpong has been pretty solid so far this year in his appearances, if not a bit raw. Arsenal, though, will not lose Alex Song, which is a massive plus, as he has probably been the club's best performer this year so far (either he or Robin van Persie or Wojciech Szczesny). Arsenal are not hit as hard, though, as Newcastle United are: they lose Cheik Tiote and Demba Ba. Chelsea will lose Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou, while Manchester City lose the Toure brothers. Manchester United lose Mame Diouf.
Park Ju Young can fill in in Chamakh's absence, and Francis Coqelin is an option in midfield if for some reason Alex Song isn't available come January. Ryo Miyaichi, Andrei Arshavin (bleh, put him in the middle, already, if anywhere), or maybe even fun times with Andre Santos can all fill in for Gervinho on the left.
And this is all before any potential January moves have arrived, so things could change.