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Dutch lose Gakpo, De Ligt and others for France clash due to virus

Dutch lose Gakpo, De Ligt and others for France clash due to virus

March 23, 2023 (AFP)

Liverpool forward Cody Gakpo, Bayern Munich defender Matthijs de Ligt and three other Netherlands players have a virus and will miss the Euro 2024 qualifier against France, the Dutch federation said Thursday.

The Netherlands were already without Barcelona playmaker Frenkie de Jong and winger Steven Bergwijn due to injuries for the match against the World Cup finalists at the Stade de France on Friday.

They will now also have to do without 23-year-old Gakpo, who has netted four Premier League goals since joining Liverpool in January from PSV Eindhoven after he shone at the World Cup for the Dutch.

Gakpo, De Ligt, Newcastle United's Sven Botman, Anderlecht goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen and Joey Veerman from PSV Eindhoven all had to leave the Dutch training camp.

The Dutch will host minnows Gibraltar on Monday in their second qualifier.

The five players "left the Dutch national team's training camp this morning," the KNVB said in a statement.

"They are suffering from a viral infection."

Dutch coach Ronald Koeman has called up Bayern Munich's Ryan Gravenberch, Kjell Scherpen from Vitesse and Inter's Stefan de Vrij as replacements, the statement said.

"After the match against France, the makeup of the squad will be reviewed," the federation said.

The Netherlands also play the Republic of Ireland and Greece in Group B with the top two teams advancing to next year's finals in Germany.

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