QPR lose Samba Diakite to African Cup of Nations

Samba Diakite: In action for QPR against Aston Villa

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QPR have received a blow with the news that Samba Diakite has been called up to Mali's squad for the African Cup of Nations.

The defensive midfielder is expected to join up with his international team-mates on January 5.

He could be out until mid-February should the Eagles reach the final.

Diakite's absence will be a big blow to QPR, who are eight points adrift of safety at the bottom of the Premier League.

The 23-year-old's call-up follows better news in regards to Adel Taarabt, who was left out of the Morocco squad last week.