Ruud van Nistelrooy has pulled out of Holland’s squad to face Austria on Wednesday with a recurrence of the hamstring injury that has plagued him in recent weeks.

‘He had some trouble with the hamstring with United and the situation has not improved. He will have to sit out the crucial qualifying game,’said KNVB spokesman Rob de Leede.

Deportivo La Coruna striker Roy Mackaay, who has been in prolific form this season, is expected to stand in for van Nistelrooy.

Holland face a bouyant Austrian side, boosted by wins in their opening two quallifiers. The other threat in the group is eexpected to be the Czech Republic, who began their campaign at the weekend with a 2-0 win in Moldova.