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Sneijder left out of provisional Netherlands squad

Netherlands coach Danny Blind has left Wesley Sneijder out of his provisional squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifier against Bulgaria and the international friendly with Italy.

The Galatasaray star has been struggling with injuries and was not deemed fit enough for selection in the 27-man line-up, although Blind refused to rule him out entirely.

"I have left out a number of players – including Sneijder – because they are not 100 per cent fit yet," Blind explained.

"And fitness is a key requirement when you want to play for the national team.

"We will look at their situation over the next 10 days to see whether they will make the final squad."

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Netherlands will also be without centre-backs Virgil van Dijk and Jeffrey Bruma for this month's encounters, with Lazio defender Wesley Hoedt making the cut in the duo's absence.

Jens Toornstra and Bart Ramselaar are other notable inclusions, joining the likes of Arjen Robben, Kevin Strootman, Georginio Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay in making the cut.

Netherlands – who sit second in Group A – travel to Bulgaria on March 25, before hosting Italy three days later.