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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Hiddink Prepares to Face Old Team

AMSTERDAM -- Guus Hiddink will face his old team Wednesday when Russia visits the Netherlands for an international friendly match in Amsterdam.

Hiddink took over the coaching duties for the Russian national team after leading Australia to the second round of last year's World Cup and helping the Netherlands reach the semifinals at the 1998 World Cup.

"The friendly against the Netherlands is a new chance to measure this team," Hiddink said. "Although the players have only been training for three weeks because the league in Russia doesn't resume until March."

A lack of match practice is not the only problem facing Hiddink in the build-up to the game. He is having to contend with a long injury list and has just 18 available players, three of whom are goalkeepers.

Defender Sergei Ignashevich will be out of action for several weeks after suffering a serious head injury while playing for his club, CSKA Moscow, in last week's invitational tournament in Israel.

The CSKA skipper banged heads with an opposing player in a 3-2 win over city rival Spartak in the $8 million, six-team tournament, sponsored by Chelsea's billionaire owner, Roman Abramovich.

Dutch coach Marco van Basten has problems of his own, and is likely to give a starting place to defender Wilfred Bouma as he prepares to face Russia missing almost half of his regular squad.

Bouma, in the squad for the first time since September 2005, is set to start in central defense with Joris Mathijsen.

Goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar and defenders Andre Ooijer and Khalid Boulahrouz are all sidelined due to injury, while Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben are missing from the attack for the same reason. With Real Madrid striker Ruud van Nistelrooy refusing to play under Van Basten since the two fell out during the World Cup, the coach has his options in attack limited.

Dirk Kuyt, Ryan Babel and Rafael van der Vaart will compete for the two places on the wings, and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink will challenge Klaas-Jan Huntelaar for a spot in the center. Vennegoor has yet to score a goal in his six years with the national team.

The match will be the eighth time the two teams have met. The Dutch have won three of the previous seven, while Russia has won two and two were drawn. Van Basten played for the Netherlands the last time they met -- during a 0-0 draw at the 1992 European Championship in Sweden.

Dutch prosecutors on Tuesday called for a 10-month prison sentence for Hiddink on tax fraud charges, Dutch news agency ANP reported. Prosecuters say Hiddink evaded almost 1.4 million euros ($1.81 million) in Dutch taxes while falsely claiming he was a resident of Belgium in 2002 and 2003.

(Reuters, AP)