Premier League managers fear the Africa Cup of Nations will create a “nightmare” in the new year.
Top stars such as Egyptian Mohamed Salah are scheduled to participate in the tournament, which will be held from January 9 to February 6.
Watford Strugglers are set to be the hardest-hit team in the first division five Players ready to go.
Senegalese Ismail Sarr, Moroccan Amran Loza and Adam Massina, as well as William Trost-Ekong and Emmanuel Denis of Nigeria could all participate.
Hornets chairman Ranieri said: “It’s not just for Latford, but for the league it’s a nightmare.
“All teams lose some players. It’s not true, but we know that and we have to be ready to try and find a solution.”
The tournament was postponed for a year due to the epidemic.
Several African countries have asked players to leave for national training camps before the new Year.
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Title-chasing Liverpool are likely to lose Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita, although Joel Matip refused to call up hosts Cameroon.
The Reds have some important matches to play while some of their top stars are absent.
Title rivals Chelsea welcome Liverpool to Stamford Bridge at the start of the new year, and the visitors will likely be without their superstars.
Arsenal and Crystal Palace could lose four players each.
But doubts remain that the Africa Cup of Nations will go ahead in Cameroon due to Covid concerns.
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