Marco happy with progress
By Alex Livie
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Marco van Basten is confident his quintet of injured stars will come good.
Netherlands coach Marco van Basten is confident his quintet of injured stars will be fit for the World Cup opener with Serbia & Montenegro on Sunday.
Wesley Sneijder, Rafael van der Vaart and Giovanni van Bronckhorst have all been struggling with ankle injuries while Philip Cocu has had a thigh problem and Kew Jaliens a leg injury.
Van Basten has placed Nigel de Jong and Stijn Schaars on standby, but the Oranje coach expects his injured stars to come right by Sunday.
"Van der Vaart had his second training session with the squad and did fine, while Sneijder made good progress and will not be a problem for Sunday," Van Basten said at a news conference.
"Tomorrow (Friday) I will take a decision about the two players on the standby list."
Van Basten claims he has already settled on his 11 for Sunday's opener and is happy with how the squad have handled the build-up.
"I've made up my mind already about the team that will start on Sunday and only (fresh) injuries might force me to make adjustments," said van Basten.
"We will continue the way we started our warm-up (games). That will also be the team you can expect."
Van Basten has fielded a 4-3-3 ahead of the finals and it is likely that Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie will look to provide Ruud van Nistelrooy with the ammunition to score the goals.