Depay fit to start alongside Gakpo for Netherlands against Qatar

By Sports Desk November 29, 2022 197

Memphis Depay was named in the Netherlands starting XI for the first time at the 2022 World Cup ahead of their final Group A match against Qatar.

The Barcelona forward was battling a hamstring injury heading into the tournament and was initially ruled out of the opener against Senegal, only to appear from the bench in a 2-0 win.

Depay was a substitute again as Louis van Gaal's side drew with Ecuador, and the coach insisted ahead of the meeting with hosts Qatar he would be taking no risks.

However, he said: "We're going to do anything and everything to progress to the next match."

That has led to a recall for talisman Depay – a member of Van Gaal's 2014 World Cup squad in Brazil – who lines up alongside breakout star Cody Gakpo in attack.

Gakpo was a chief beneficiary of Depay's absence, trusted to be the Netherlands' creative force behind a front two of Steven Bergwijn and Vincent Janssen.

The PSV attacker, linked with Manchester United, was moved into the front line against Ecuador and now keeps his place there, linking up with Depay.

Gakpo has scored two of the Oranje's three goals so far.

The Netherlands will be through with a win or a draw and would advance regardless if Ecuador defeated Senegal.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 29 November 2022 09:23
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