Netherlands fans have slammed Louis van Gaal for deciding against naming Memphis Depay in Holland's starting line-up to face Ecuador in the FIFA World Cup today (25 November).
The Netherlands got their 2022 FIFA World Cup off to a victorious start on Monday (21 November), beating Senegal 2-0. They will now look to make it two wins in two when they face Ecuador in their second group match today.
Ecuador notably go into the match on the back of a 2-0 victory over tournament hosts Qatar. Both sides have the opportunity to confirm their place in the Round of 16 of the FIFA World Cup today.
With less than an hour to go until kick-off, the Netherlands have announced their starting line-up for the match. Van Gaal has made three changes to the team that beat Senegal earlier this week.
Jurrien Timber has notably taken Matthijs de Ligt's place in Holland's three-man defense. Teun Koopmeiners has replaced Steven Berghuis in midfield, while Davy Klaassen has come in for Vincent Janssen.
Meanwhile, Van Gaal has opted to leave Barcelona forward Depay on the bench once again. The Dutchman had an injury in the days leading up to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, but is available for team selection now.
Van Gaal has nevertheless decided against taking a risk with Depay by leaving him on the bench. The news, though, has not gone down well among the Oranje faithful. One fan wrote on Twitter:
"Where's Depay? This coach is dumb as f**k."
Here are some more reactions to Van Gaal refusing to name Depay in his starting XI to face Ecuador:
Van Gaal brought Depay on for Janssen in the 62nd minute of the Netherlands' FIFA World Cup opener against Senegal on Monday. He is expected to use the Barcelona attacker as a substitute again today.
How are Ecuador lining up against the Netherlands in the FIFA World Cup?
While Van Gaal has made three changes to his team, Ecuador has made just one change to the starting line-up that beat Qatar last weekend. Romario Ibarra has notably dropped to the bench, with Jackson Porozo taking his place.
It is worth noting that Ibarra is a 28-year-old winger, who plies his trade for Mexican club CF Pachuca. Porozo, on the other hand, is a young centre-back who plays for French club Troyes.
Ecuador thus appear to be taking a more pragmatic approach against the Dutchmen today. It now remains to be seen if it will help them earn a positive result against Van Gaal and Co.