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Overmars injury scare.

HOLLAND'S preparations for today's World Cup showdown with Argentina were dealt a huge blow last night when Marc Overmars limped out of training with a strained hamstring, writes Steve Davies.

Left-winger Overmars pulled up sharply in a practice match and Guus Hiddink immediately rated the Arsenal flier a big doubt for this afternoon's quarter- final in Marseilles.

"He suddenly had a problem," groaned Hiddink.

"It certainly is a worry because a hamstring injury is not nothing. The match can last 90 or 120 minutes so I have to take it into account."

Overmars, though, says he is "cautiously optimistic" of making it after undergoing acupuncture therapy.

Whatever the outcome, the scare has caused concern around the Dutch camp who are still trying to nurse right-back Michael Reiziger back to fitness from a bruised foot.

To make matters worse, likely replacement Aron Winter also missed training yesterday with an injured toe.

But it's the Overmars alarm that is the most worrying. After the way Michael Owen ripped through the Argentinian rearguard in St Etienne on Tuesday, it was expected that Overmars would have a field day.

Dennis Bergkamp, though, is fit and raring to go, and he too is licking his lips after watching the England teenager at work against Passarella's side.

"We have a lot of confidence we can do it. The way England played against Argentina gave us some encouragement because it showed a lot of flaws in their defence," he said.

And even Argentina's Diego Simeone was forced to concede: "If an 18-year- old like Michael Owen can expose our lack of pace at the back, then there is no telling what Holland can do if we let them."
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Davies, Steve
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jul 4, 1998
Words:281
Previous Article:Party time for 2-1 French; Jacquet claims: 'We have right spirit to go all the way'.
Next Article:Classy duo to draw applause; Dutch can match South Americans in potentially thrilling encounter in mid-afternoon Marseilles heat.


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