Jul 8, 2014, 2:41 PM EDT
Robin van Persie is in a race against time to be fit for the Netherlands’ World Cup semifinal showdown against Argentina on Wednesday.
The Dutch captain has picked up a stomach virus which is threatening to keep him out of the crunch clash with Lionel Messi and the Albiceleste in Sao Paulo.
[ RELATED: Who will replace Di Maria? ]
RVP, 30, has led the line for Holland throughout the tournament and has scored three goals in four games. Those strikes came in the opening two matches against Spain and Australia but since then the Manchester United forward has looked a little jaded.
This illness could be a reason for that, as Dutch head coach Louis van Gaal revealed in his pre-match press ocnference on Tuesday that Van Persie is struggling to be fit for the semifinal.
“He has a stomach problem, an intestinal problem. I don’t know, ” Van Gaal said. “I will decide. Van Persie is our captain so he is very important to us. In principle my captain always plays, but he has to be fit.”
Van Gaal was pictured having a stern chat with RVP on the training ground on Tuesday and it seems as though this issue is putting his involvement against Argentina in serious jeopardy.
What other options will LVG have if RVP is out?
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has proved a great alternative off the bench and if RVP isn’t ready to go then the Schalke striker, who came on against Mexico and turned the game in Holland’s favor, will be a more than suitable replacement. With Argentina likely to sit back and soak up Dutch pressure, Huntelaar is difficult to mark and incredibly good in the air. His hold up play could be key if the Dutch work off his touches and the likes of Memphis Depay and Arjen Robben can get into the box.
For now, Holland would love to have their skipper and star striker Van Persie fit. If he isn’t, it’s not the end of the world but it would be a big blow.
Then again, when I think about van Gaal’s antics by bringing on sub goalkeeper Tim Krul for Holland’s World Cup quarterfinal penalty shootout and some of his other tricks over the years, this couldn’t be gamesmanship in trying to psyche out the Argentine defense… Could it?
Apr 24, 2015, 7:46 PM EDT
The Baggies must defend The Hawthorns as Liverpool is barely clinging on to top-four dreams.
Apr 24, 2015, 6:30 PM EDT
Clinging onto safety in the Premier League, Hull City players now have some added incentive to avoid the drop.
Apr 24, 2015, 5:37 PM EDT
Still in his first season as manager at Old Trafford, LVG has already endorsed his top assistant to be the next in line.
Apr 24, 2015, 4:42 PM EDT
Can Tim Sherwood and Aston Villa continue their climb up the table at the Etihad?
Apr 24, 2015, 3:42 PM EDT
PST’s Joe Prince-Wright sat down with the Southampton defender to see how the Saints’ skipper has evolved into one of the best center-backs in the Premier League.
Apr 24, 2015, 2:50 PM EDT
In the latest PST Extra we take a quick look at why whispers about managers losing their jobs at Liverpool, Man City are getting louder.
Apr 24, 2015, 2:06 PM EDT
PST’s Lead Writer and Editor predicts the scores in the PL this weekend.
Apr 24, 2015, 1:25 PM EDT
Spurs are reportedly in talks with the NFL about housing a franchise in their new stadium.
Apr 24, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT
What do you think of these 11 players getting Team of the Year honors?
Apr 24, 2015, 11:19 AM EDT
Where and how to watch every PL game during Week 34.
Apr 24, 2015, 10:15 AM EDT
Mourinho stirs the pot before huge clash with Arsenal on Sunday.
Apr 24, 2015, 9:25 AM EDT
Can Saints get revenge on Pochettino as he returns to St Mary’s? Watch live, Saturday, 7:45 a.m ET.
Apr 24, 2015, 8:10 AM EDT
Jose Mourinho has delivered an update on Costa’s progress ahead of Sunday’s big game.
UEFA Champions League semifinal draw: Guardiola’s Bayern get Barcelona; Real Madrid take on Juventus
Apr 24, 2015, 7:31 AM EDT
Former Barca boss Guardiola is heading back to the Nou Camp for the UCL semis.
Apr 23, 2015, 11:17 PM EDT
Mauricio Pochettino feels that any team not having to contend with Europa League has a better chance of qualifying for Champions League.
Apr 23, 2015, 10:13 PM EDT
Hands off our Pep, Man City. Bayern exec says Guardiola is going nowhere.
Apr 23, 2015, 9:17 PM EDT
Sporting KC vs. Real Salt Lake is inching ever closer to Most Hated Rivalry in MLS.
Apr 23, 2015, 7:21 PM EDT
It’s the biggest game of Chelsea’s season, and Mourinho might have to start a 17-year-old at striker.
Apr 23, 2015, 6:11 PM EDT
With the return of Bale and Benzema imminent, Ancelotti seems to think Real Madrid are the Champions League favorites.
Apr 23, 2015, 5:05 PM EDT
And then there were four. Four teams remain in the 2015-16 Europa League.
- Premier League Preview: West Bromwich Albion vs. Liverpool 0
- SportsWorld: Jose Fonte talks playing with Ronaldo, shares thoughts on MLS 0
- Prince-Wright’s Premier League picks: Time for the underdogs to shine 0
- WATCH: NBC Sports’ Premier League TV schedule – Week 34 0
- Jose Mourinho: “Arsene Wenger is not my rival” ahead of Arsenal vs. Chelsea 5
- UEFA Champions League semifinal draw: Guardiola’s Bayern get Barcelona; Real Madrid take on Juventus 0