Dutch won't risk stars
By Jeffrey Glorie
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Marco van Basten is unlikely to field his strongest side against Argentina.
The most eagerly anticipated of all the World Cup group games could turn out to be a tepid affair with Holland coach Marco van Basten promising to rest several of his stars against Argentina.
The Netherlands are safely through, along with the South Americans, and the players who are one yellow card away from suspension are unlikely to be risked.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Khalid Boulahrouz, Johnny Heitinga, Arjen Robben, Joris Mathijsen and Mark van Bommel are all walking a disciplinary tightrope but there is an amnesty after the group stages with the slate being wiped clean.
Argentina have similar concerns over Javier Saviola, Gabriel Heinze, Luis Gonzalez and Hernan Crespo so coach Jose Pekerman is also expected to make changes to his starting line-up.
"Where we think that it's risky to line up certain players, we have to make a choice," explained van Basten.
"The players have had one and a half days off and we couldn't speak to them a lot.
"We first want to give clarity to the players before we announce it to others.
"The policy is not to take risks with yellow cards and that counts for both attack and defence.
"I don't see a difference between attackers and defenders in that way. Attackers can also pick up a yellow card."
Van Basten has revealed that the knocks sustained by Heitinga and Philip Cocu are not serious.