Head coach Ronald Koeman has named Mark Flekken as his first-choice goalkeeper as the Netherlands head into a pair of crucial Euro 2024 qualifiers.
Oranje face Greece in Eindhoven on Thursday night before taking on the Republic of Ireland in Dublin on Sunday. Both teams are rivals for the second qualifying spot in Group B behind France, who have won all four of their matches so far.
With World Cup goalkeeper Andries Noppert out of form and Feyenoord’s Justin Bijlow recovering from a wrist injury, Koeman has opted to give Flekken his fifth cap for the national team.
“I think he deserves to play,” the coach said. “Mark has been around for a while, he’s made a brilliant transfer, he’s been consistently playing well and he’s fit.”
The 30-year-old from Kerkrade spent his entire professional career in Germany before transferring from Freiburg to English Premier League side Brentford in the summer for nearly €13 million.
Koeman has freshened up his squad, with Tijjani Reinders hoping to make his debut after moving from AZ Alkmaar to AC Milan in the summer. Feyenoord defender Quindilischy Hartman, Chelsea left-back Ian Maatsen and Tottenham’s Micky van de Ven are also in the squad.
Greece’s front line will be led by AZ striker Vangelis Pavlidis, who is the joint top scorer in the Eredivisie with five goals in his first three matches.
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