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Home   /   Van Gaal’s last dance begins against AFCON champions

Netherlands will be looking to kickstart their World Cup campaign with a win as they face the Africa Cup of Nations champions Senegal in Group A.

Memphis Depay is set to miss out of the opener due to a muscle injury, which may leave room for the talented 23-year-old Cody Gakpo, who has nine goals and 12 assists in all competitions this season.

The Netherlands’s task will be made easier as Senegal will be without their talisman, Sadio Mané. He was ruled out of the tournament earlier this week with an injury. Senegal manager Aliou Cisse told BBC Sport that the ‘’whole football family is saddened by this injury’’.

An upbeat Louis Van Gaal told the Guardian ‘’I believe in this squad of players. In 2014 we came third with a squad less than this group.’’ This tournament will be the last for Van Gaal as he ends 30 years in management.

Netherlands have never been knocked out of the World Cup in the group stages, and will be looking to win their first ever World Cup.

The ‘Oranje’ will be looking to continue their 15-match unbeaten run under Van Gaal, who is in his third stint as Netherlands manager.

Team News:

Senegal starting XI: Eduoard Mendy, Youssouf Sabaly, Kalidou Koulibaly, Abdou Diallo, Nampalys Mendy, Cheikhou Kouyate, Idrissa Gana Gueye, Pape Abdou Cissse, Krepin Diatta, Ismaila Sarr, Boulaye Dia.

Netherlands starting XI: Andries Noppert, Daley Blind, Nathan Ake, Virgil van Dijk, Matthijs de Ligt, Denzel Dumfries, Steven Berghuis, Frenkie de Jong, Steven Bergwijn, Cody Gakpo, Vincent Janssen.

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May 2024