The influential Manchester City midfielder was a crucial part of Manuel Pellegrini’s Premier League title-winning team this term but the 31-year-old Ivory Coast international who scored 20 goals in the Premier League this term will likely miss two key fixtures with title rivals Chelsea and Arsenal next season.
The full Premier League fixture list was released on Wednesday and Manchester City’s games against Arsenal at the Etihad on January 17 and Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on January 31 next season as he will likely be involved in the African Cup of Nations in Morocco between January 17 and February 8, 2015.
The Premier League champions will fancy their chances of defending their title but Chelsea have already begun their squad investment plans for the summer, with Jose Mourinho confirming the signings of Spain striker Diego Costa and midfielder Cesc Fabregas.
City will have a tough start to the campaign in 2014/15 with opening games against Newcastle (A), Liverpool (H), Stoke (H), followed by Arsenal (A) and Chelsea (H).
The Blues will be boosted by their relatively kind start to the season against newly-promoted Burnley (A) and Leicester City (H) followed by a tough trip to Goodison Park to face Everton.
The Gunners face Crystal Palace (H), Everton (A), and Leicester (A) before they host City on September 13th. However, Arsenal will be unlikely to lose any key players to the African Cup of Nations and Chelsea will likely only be without John Obi Mikel for that period.