Janssen withdraws from Netherlands trip to Bulgaria

Indo Asian News Service

The Hague, March 24 (IANS) Striker Vincent Janssen was on Friday left out of the Netherlands football squad that will play the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Bulgaria in Sofia due to illness.

Janssen skipped Thursday's training due to flu and has now left the Dutch training camp, reports Xinhua news agency.

The Tottenham Hotspur forward was the main candidate to play as central striker on Saturday in Sofia, but head coach Danny Blind will now probably opt for Sporting Portugal striker Bas Dost instead.

Earlier this week AS Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman also suffered from the flu, but he recovered well enough to travel with the squad to Bulgaria on Friday.

The squad of 24 players also includes the likes of, among others, Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder, Memphis Depay and 17-year-old debutant Matthijs de Ligt of Ajax.

The Netherlands need a win on Saturday in the Vasil Levski Stadium to maintain the second place in 2018 World Cup European zone qualifying Group A and to remain in contention for the first place.

Group leaders France play away against Luxembourg on Saturday, while number three Sweden host Belarus. The nine winners of each European group will qualify for the World Cup, while the eight best runners-up will advance to the play-offs.