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Netherlands select uncapped Xavi Simons, injured Memphis Depay in World Cup squad

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Gab & Juls preview Group A at the 2022 World Cup, which contains hosts Qatar, Netherlands, Senegal and Ecuador. (0:58)

Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal included injured Barcelona forward Memphis Depay and uncapped teenager Xavi Simons in his 26-man squad for the World Cup, but left out veteran goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen.

Depay has not played since limping off during the Netherlands' Nations League match against Poland on Sept. 22, and has played less than 150 minutes for Barcelona this season.

But Van Gaal had already said his top scorer would be certain of a place as long as there was a chance of him playing during the tournament.

- 2022 World Cup: All squad lists for Qatar

"He is fit to play from a medical perspective, but we will have to build Depay up," Van Gaal told a news conference.

"He won't be able to start in our first match against Senegal [on Nov. 21], but he might come on as a substitute," he said, adding that Royal Antwerp's Vincent Janssen would be Depay's likely replacement.

The injury of Depay, who was involved in 18 of the 33 goals the Netherlands scored in the qualifying campaign, is a serious risk for the side's chances, Van Gaal said, but does not change their ultimate objective.

"We have one goal, to become world champions. With our team spirit we definitely have a good chance," said the 71-year old former coach of Ajax, Bayern Munich and Manchester United.

Xavi Simons, 19, has made a strong impression since his move from Paris Saint-Germain to PSV Eindhoven this summer, scoring eight goals in 13 league matches.

Van Gaal sprung a surprise in goal by leaving out 33-year-old Cillessen, who rejoined his old club NEC Nijmegen from Valencia this summer in the hope of reviving his international career.

Netherlands squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Justin Bijlow (Feyenoord), Andries Noppert (Heerenveen), Remko Pasveer (Ajax Amsterdam)

Defenders: Nathan Ake (Manchester City), Daley Blind (Ajax), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Denzel Dumfries (Internazionale), Jeremie Frimpong (Bayer Leverkusen), Matthijs de Ligt (Bayern Munich), Tyrell Malacia (Manchester United), Jurrien Timber (Ajax), Stefan de Vrij (Inter Milan)

Midfielders: Steven Berghuis (Ajax), Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona), Davy Klaassen (Ajax), Teun Koopmeiners (Atalanta Bergamo), Marten de Roon (Atalanta Bergamo), Xavi Simons (PSV Eindhoven), Kenneth Taylor (Ajax)

Forwards: Steven Bergwijn (Ajax), Memphis Depay (Barcelona), Cody Gakpo (PSV), Vincent Janssen (Antwerp), Luuk de Jong (PSV), Noah Lang (Club Brugge), Wout Weghorst (Besiktas)