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De Jong, Van Persie start for Netherlands
July 9, 2014 / 7:19 PM / 3 years ago

De Jong, Van Persie start for Netherlands

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Netherlands midfielder Nigel de Jong was named in the starting line-up to face Argentina in the World Cup semi-final on Wednesday, completing a remarkable recovery after straining his groin muscle in the last-16 game against Mexico on June 29.

Netherlands' national soccer team player Nigel de Jong attends a news conference ahead of their quarter-final match against Costa Rica at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador July 4, 2014. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

The experienced 29-year-old had been a doubt for the rest of the tournament but he replaced forward Memphis Depay, who started the quarter-final against Costa Rica, suggesting that coach Louis van Gaal will use a 5-3-2 formation.

Striker Robin Van Persie also starts despite suffering from stomach problems before the game.

As expected, Argentina made two changes to the team who beat Belgium in the quarter-final.

Enzo Perez comes in to replace the injured Angel Di Maria and Marcos Rojo takes the place of Jose Basanta.

Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Ed Osmond

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