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#pounditSaturday, January 28, 2023

Netherlands dealing with major issue ahead of match against United States

Louis Van Gaal speaking with reporters

Dec 2, 2022; Doha, QATAR; Netherlands head coach Louis van Gaal speaks during a press conference at the Qatar National Convention Center in Doha on Friday, Dec. 2, 2022. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

There is a big storyline to watch ahead of Saturday’s pivotal World Cup match between the Netherlands and the United States.

Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal revealed to reporters on Friday that several players on his team are dealing with flu-like symptoms. While Van Gaal declined to mention which players were affected, he did say he was concerned about the illness potentially spreading throughout the team.

“We are not going to elaborate on that,” said Van Gaal, per Tom Hamilton of ESPN. “But if it goes around in the group, it is worrying.”

Though the Netherlands did not have their usual 11 vs. 11 practice match on Friday, they did go through with a training session, Van Gaal added. Van Gaal also said that his side is not in any danger of being unable to field a team for Saturday’s contest.

As the winners of Group A, the Netherlands qualified for the Round of 16 and are facing the United States, the runners-up of Group B. The World Cup is now officially in its knockout stages though, so Saturday’s match is a win-or-go-home affair.

The U.S. has also had some uncertainty of their own in recent days. But it sounds like they are the side that will be closer to full strength on Saturday.

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