Sun 20 November 2022 | 13:40

Van Gaal reveals Memphis Depay misses Netherlands’ World Cup opener

Helping his side to win the World Cup 2014 bronze medal, Memphis Depay will reportedly miss their Qatar 2022 opener against Senegal. Senegal's Sadio Mane will also be out of competition.

Speaking ahead of the

Netherlands

World Cup opener with Senegal,

Louis Van Gaal

set high goals for his side as he claimed the match is centered around how two sides cope without their main stars.

Van Gaal said:

"Mane can break open a match, and I would say Senegal will really miss him. But the same applies to us. We are really missing our top scorer and the king of the assists."

However, the Netherlands boss announced their a come-back chance for

Depay

in the tournament.

"We knew before the World Cup he had a different programme, a different schedule than the schedule of a player who is preparing for a match."

 

On his

World Cup expectations

, the former Barcelona, Bayern, and Manchester United manager said:

"I believe in this squad, this group of players.

"In 2014, we came third with a squad of lesser quality, I would say. With this group, I expect more.

"It all depends not only on technical skills and tactical skills but also a bit of luck that you score at the right time or that the others don't score.

"I think we could become world champion, but there are squads that are in my view of a higher level than my squad. The thing is how the squad deals with that, and there I think I may be able to benefit from a head start.

"I'm saying we can become world champion. Whether we become world champion is a separate issue, but I'm saying we can.

"I am no longer going to speak about political issues. I'm focusing on this coming match.

"I put a full stop after all these issues after we invited the migrants to watch our practice session. I requested all my players also stopped doing that and put a full stop and focus on the match against Senegal."

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