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L. van Gaal

Van Gaal left sweating over fitness of Netherlands squad on eve of USMNT World Cup last-16 clash as illness takes hold

7:42 PM GMT+4 02/12/2022
Louis van Gaal Netherlands
Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal has confirmed that some of his players have flu-like symptoms on the eve of their game against the USMNT.
  • Van Gaal discussed illness affecting his players
  • Wouldn't confirm identity of those suffering
  • Could be an issue ahead of USMNT clash

WHAT HAPPENED? The Netherlands have joined the likes of Spain and Brazil in having flu-like symptoms in their squad during the World Cup. This could be a direct result of the massive air conditioning units that have been installed to keep the temperature at pitch-level bearable for the players.

WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking in the pre-match press conference ahead of the game against USMNT, Van Gaal said: "We are not going to elaborate on that but if it goes around in the group, it is worrying. There are not fifteen or so [affected]. In principle, everyone is fit and available."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Spain were the first side to report such problems with Alvaro Morata and Dani Carvajal having been affected. Brazil's Antony then complained as to the effects the air conditioning units were having on the Brazil squad prior to their game against Switzerland.

IN TWO PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR THE NETHERLANDS? If all goes well, Van Gaal will have a full squad of players available for the round-of-16 tie against the USMNT on Saturday, albeit a few of them might not be fully fit.