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Sports News

Wijnaldum named new Dutch skipper and Krul in goal

(Reuters) - Georginio Wijnaldum will replace his injured Liverpool team mate Virgil van Dijk as Netherlands captain while Tim Krul will be first choice in goal when the Dutch play their two Nations League matches next week, coach Frank de Boer said on Tuesday.

Soccer Football - Euro 2020 Qualifier - Group C - Netherlands v Estonia - Johan Cruijff Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands - November 19, 2019 Netherlands' Georginio Wijnaldum celebrates scoring their fourth goal REUTERS/Piroschka Van De Wouw/Files

They are among the decisions De Boer has had to make around team selection with the Dutch playing three games in the space of seven days.

De Boer’s side face Spain in a friendly on Wednesday in Amsterdam before hosting Bosnia in the Nations League on Sunday and ending their campaign away in Poland the following Wednesday.

“The players have to play so many matches, we now sit waiting for the next injury. That says something about the schedule they face,” he told a news conference.

But the new Dutch coach, who started last month with a friendly defeat by Mexico and draws with Bosnia and Italy in the Nations League, said there is little he can do about the taxing schedule.

“But I can do as a trainer is highlight the problems. It would be best if the football associations work together and take a stand together,” De Boer added.

“But money rules and the show must go on, that’s just the way it is. As coaches, we also have to take this into account.

“I look very closely at the amount of time that the players have played and then based my selections on that.”

He said he would field largely fringe players against Spain as the Dutch still have a chance to win Group A1 and qualify again for the final stages of the Nations League.

Norwich City’s Krul will take over from injured goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen but AZ Alkmaar’s Marco Bizot will win a first cap in goal against Spain, added De Boer.

Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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