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Ake available to play for Dutch in Dublin

FILE PHOTO-Soccer Football - UEFA Super Cup - Manchester City v Sevilla - Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium, Athens, Greece - August 16, 2023 Manchester City's Nathan Ake in action REUTERS/Louiza Vradi/File Photo

AMSTERDAM - Nathan Ake is available for the Netherlands’ European Championship qualifier against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin on Sunday after being replaced in their last match on Thursday with a hamstring problem.

The defender went off after the first half of the Netherlands' 3-0 Group B win over Greece in Eindhoven.

Coach Ronald Koeman said Ake had felt a twinge in his hamstring and been replaced as a precautionary measure but that the Manchester City centre would be available for Sunday’s match.

With runaway group leaders France holding a nine point lead over the second placed Dutch, who have two games in hand, the battle for the runners-up berth has gathered intensity. The top two teams are guaranteed qualification to next year’s finals in Germany.

The Dutch and Greeks have six points each while the Irish have only three. REUTERS