The Netherlands coach Dick Advocaat has recalled four players for next Wednesday's friendly international against Germany.
Van Hooijdonk injured
Midfield players Kevin Hofland of PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord's Paul Bosvelt are back in contention along with AFC Ajax striking duo Rafael van der Vaart and Andy van der Meyde. The quartet form part of a 20-man squad which is deprived of the attacking talents of the injured Pierre van Hooijdonk, although Chelsea FC's Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is included after recovering from a groin problem.
Another English-based player, Middlesbrough FC's George Boateng, is omitted along with PSV duo André Ooijer and Wilfred Bouma for a match which will be watched by a sell-out 60,601 crowd at the Parkstadion home of 1. Bundesliga side FC Schalke 04.
Van der Vaart damaged his knee in the Netherlands' 3-0 UEFA EURO 2004™ qualifying victory against Belarus on 7 September but returns to face the Germans. The Dutch followed that win with a 3-0 away success in Austria to establish a lead at the top of Group 3. Germany also have maximum points from two games in Group 5.
Advocaat revealed that he had been following Van der Vaart's progress over the past month and had been impressed with the Ajax player's form. He said: "I'm pleased Rafael is available again. He's shown through his performances with Ajax lately that he is ready to return. It was a big disappointment for him to get injured so soon that receiving his call-up."
'A special game'
Advocaat was under no illusion that an encounter against Germany was a special occasion. He said: "It will be more than a friendly. We are facing the No2 side in the world and games against Germany are always special. It is important for us to maintain our recent good form."
Van der Sar, Waterreus, F de Boer, Hofland, Reiziger, Ricksen, Stam, Van Bommel, Bosvelt, Cocu, Davids, Kluivert, Seedorf, Van der Vaart, R de Boer,Hasselbaink, Makaay, Van der Meyde, Van Nistelrooij, Zenden.
©UEFA.com 1998-2014. All rights reserved.