Holland manager Bert van Marwijk called up 23 players on Friday for the upcoming two qualifying matches ahead of next year’s European Championships finals. Two of them, Manchester City midfielder Nigel de Jong and Tottenham playmaker Rafael van der Vaart called off on Sunday with injuries.
De Jong is still smarting from an ankle injury and Van der Vaart stumbled off the pitch with a painful hamstring on Sunday. It's unclear whether Van der Vaart will be able to join the squad later this week.
On Sunday evening, Van Marwijk called up Sporting midfielder Stijn Schaars to replace the two injured players. He also contacted Theo Janssen, but was told by Janssen's club, Ajax Amsterdam, that he wasn't fit to play yet.
On Friday, the Holland coach had dropped Schaars and Janssen, as well as Feyenoord defender Ron Vlaar, from the preliminary 27-strong squad. He added Jeremain Lens, who scored a magnificent goal for PSV Eindhoven in a Europa League match on Thursday night.
The Holland coach also regrets the absence of Arjen Robben (Bayern München) and Ibrahim Afellay (FC Barcelona), who're both recovering from injury: "Two very creative players, we'll certainly miss them."
The first match is scheduled in Eindhoven against bottom-of-the-table San Marino on Friday 2 September, the second away in Finland on Tuesday 6 September.