World Cup 2014: Louis van Gaal gives his Dutch squad an English flavour - with Robin van Persie but no Rafael van der Vaart


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The Independent Football

Manchester United’s incoming manager Louis van Gaal has included six Premier League players in Holland’s World Cup squad, led by Robin van Persie.

Rafael van der Vaart, the attacking midfielder who left Tottenham for Hamburg two years ago, was left out as expected. The 31-year-old, who has 109 caps, injured his calf in training on Wednesday.

Swansea’s Michel Vorm and Jonathan de Guzman made the cut to a final 23 along with the Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar, Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul and Norwich’s Leroy Fer.

Other players in the squad who are familiar to English fans are Arjen Robben, once of Chelsea, and Dirk Kuyt, who was so popular at Liverpool.

Van Gaal, who will be Van Persie’s boss at Manchester United after the World Cup, omitted the Chelsea left-back Patrick van Aanholt.

Holland open their campaign against Spain and also face Australia and Chile in Group B.

Chile continued their preparations by fighting back from two goals down to beat Egypt 3-2 in Santiago. 

Edin Dzeko scored twice as Bosnia Herzegovina began their World Cup preparations with a 2‑1 win over the Ivory Coast in St Louis, Missouri.

The Manchester City striker, Bosnia’s leading scorer, looked sharp, scoring from outside the penalty area in the 17th minute and volleying home from Miralem Pjanic’s cross in the 53rd minute. Didier Drogba marked his 100th international by scoring in added time from a free-kick after being fouled.

At the World Cup Bosnia face Argentina, Iran and Nigeria in Group F, while the Ivory Coast take on Colombia, Greece and Japan in Group C.

Fabio Capello’s Russia, preparing for their first appearance in the finals for 12 years, were held 1-1 in Oslo by Norway, who claimed a late equaliser through Anders Konradsen.

The Rennes midfielder’s 77th-minute header from Morten Gamst Pedersen’s cross canceled out Oleg Shatov’s third-minute opener for Russia, who could have won the game comfortably. The Norway defender Vegard Forren twice cleared off the line with goalkeeper Rune Jarstein beaten. Russia will take on South Korea, Belgium and Algeria in Group H.

Algeria warmed up with a comprehensive 3-1 victory over Armenia, scoring all their goals in the first half.

Ivan Perisic scored twice as Croatia beat Mali 2-1 in a low-key match in Osijek. Perisic turned home Ivan Rakitic’s pass after 16 minutes and made it 2‑0 in the 64th minute after Ivica Olic headed on a corner. Kalilou Traoré scored for Mali.

Croatia, who play Brazil in the opening match of the World Cup, did not bring on Luka Modric, who played in midfield for Real Madrid in the Champions League final last weekend, until the 74th minute.

Holland World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jasper Cillessen (Ajax), Tim Krul (Newcastle), Michel Vorm (Swansea); defenders: Daley Blind (Ajax), Daryl Janmaat (Feyenoord), Terence Kongolo (Feyenoord), Bruno Martins Indi (Feyenoord), Joel Veltman (Ajax), Paul Verhaegh (Augsburg), Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa), Stefan de Vrij (Feyenoord); midfielders: Jordy Clasie (Feyenoord), Leroy Fer (Norwich), Jonathan De Guzman (Swansea), Nigel de Jong (Milan), Wesley Sneijder (Galatasaray), Georginio Wijnaldum (PSV Eindhoven); forwards: Memphis Depay (PSV), Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Schalke 04), Dirk Kuijt (Fenerbahce), Jeremain Lens (Dynamo Kiev), Robin van Persie (Manchester United), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich).