Netherlands continue preparations for the World Cup qualifier with Luxembourg by hosting Ivory Coast at De Kuip this Sunday.

The third era of Dick Advocaat got underway last Wednesday with Fred Grim overseeing a slender 2-1 win over Morocco while the new head coach finishes his duties at Fenerbahce. Grim will once again take charge of the tie against Ivory Coast this Sunday before Advocaat, alongside Ruud Gullit, come in to prepare for the World Cup qualifier against Luxembourg next Sunday.

Netherlands currently sit fourth in the World Cup qualifying group and need to beat Luxembourg to get their chances of reaching Russia back on track. Sunday’s tie may just seem like a warm up to that match, but a victory at De Kuip is crucial for both confidence and world ranking points.

Ivory Coast, who are managed by Belgian Marc Wilmots, go into the game on the back of a 1-1 friendly draw with Benin. The Elephants are preparing for a African cup of nations against Guinea on the 8th of June.

Team News

Grim’s options for Sunday’s tie have been boosted with captain Arjen Robben, Kevin Strootman, Georginio Wijnaldum, Daley Blind and Davy Klaassen all joining the squad. However, Matthijs de Ligt will miss the match after his red card against Morocco. Jeremain Lens, Jasper Cillessen and Stefan de Vrij won’t come into contention until the tie with Luxembourg.

Wesley Sneijder traveled back to Turkey for Galatasaray’s final league game on Saturday but will return to the squad in order to play some part and equal Edwin van der Sar’s record of 130 caps for the national team.

Possible Netherlands line-up: Zoet, Tete, Blind, Hoedt, Martins Indi, Vilhena, Strootman, Wijnaldum, Robben, Promes, Janssen

Former Feyenoord winger Solomon Kalou was set to return to De Kuip, but injury has forced him to withdraw from the squad. Former Arsenal and Roma winger Gervinho has been called in his place. ADO Den Haag defender Wilfried Kanon is in the squad along with Manchester United’s Eric Bailly, Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace and Atalanta sensation Franck Kessie.

Possible Ivory Coast line-up: Gbohouo, Aurier, Traore, Bailly, Kanon, Die, Doukoure, Kessie, Zaha, Gervinho, Doumbia

Previous meetings

The two nations have only met on one occasion and that was during the 2006 World Cup. Goals from Robin van Persie and Ruud van Nistelrooy handed Oranje a 2-1 victory.


Netherlands 8/11 Draw 11/4 Ivory Coast 7/2

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