SAO PAULO (SportingAlert) — Leading striker and captain Robin van Persie will start for the Netherlands in this evening’s World Cup semi-final clash with Argentina at Arena Corinthians, here in Sao Paulo.
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The Manchester United forward was a major doubt because of a stomach problem, but has recovered in time to lead the Holland attack.
Another massive boost for the Dutch is hard hitting midfielder Nigel de Jong, who has recovered from a groin strain, to take his place in the starting XI, just over a week after he was ruled out of the World Cup.
De Jong is the one change made by Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal from the team that started against Costa Rica in the quarter-final win.
As expected, Jasper Cillessen keeps his place in goal.
Meanwhile, Argentina head coach Alejandro Sabella makes two changes to the team that began against Belgium the last time out, as the injured Angel Di Maria is replaced in midfield by Enzo Perez.
Returning to the starting team is left-back Marcos Rojo, who starts after serving a one game suspension, with Jose Maria Basanta dropped to the bench.
Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero is available again after an injury, but he too starts on the bench.
Netherlands v Argentina
Argentina: Romero, Zabaleta, Demichelis, Garay, Rojo, Biglia, Mascherano, Enzo Perez; Messi (c), Higuain, Lavezzi. Subs: Vorm, Janmaat, de Guzman, Verhaegh, Veltman, Kongolo, Clasie, Lens, Huntelaar, Depay, Krul
Netherlands: Cillessen, Vlaar, De Vrij, Martins Indi, Kuyt, Wijnaldum, Sneijder, De Jong, Blind, Robben, van Persie (c). Subs: Orion, Campagnaro, Gago, Maxi Rodriguez, Augusto Fernandez, Federico Fernandez, Palacio, Alvarez, Aguero, Basanta, Andujar