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Van Persie withdraws from Dutch squad

Soccer

Amsterdam – The Netherlands Football Association says Robin van Persie has pulled out of the national squad to play Germany in a friendly because of a thigh injury.

The absence of the prolific Manchester United striker means Germany-based Klaas Jan Huntelaar will almost certainly begin at centre forward.

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SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 02: Robin Van Persie of Manchester United celebrates victory during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Manchestrer United at St Mary's Stadium on September 2, 2012 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

Van Persie played Saturday in Manchester's 3-2 win over Aston Villa, setting up Javier Hernandez's 88th-minute winner with an inswinging free kick.

The Dutch striker has 31 goals in 71 internationals. Huntelaar, who plays at Schalke 04, has 34 goals in 59 matches for the Netherlands.

Van Gaal called up another Germany-based forward, Bas Dost of Wolfsburg, as a replacement for Van Persie on Monday.

The Netherlands takes on Germany at Amsterdam Arena on Wednesday night. – Sapa-AP

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