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Gareth Bale out of Wales’ last two FIFA World Cup qualifier matches

The final two FIFA World Cup qualifier matches will decide Wales football team’s participation in the next 2018 tournament, and Gareth Bale’s absence could prove to be a big blow

football Updated: Oct 03, 2017 16:12 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
FIFA WOrld Cup 2018,FIFA World Cup qualifiers,FIFA World Cup
Wales football team's Gareth Bale, who was injured during last week’s UEFA Champions League match between Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund, will miss the remaining two FIFA World Cup qualifier matches for his country.(AP)

Wales football team will be without the services of Gareth Bale, who suffered a calf muscle strain during a Champions League match last week, for their final two FIFA World Cup qualifier matches against Georgia and Republic of Ireland.

Gareth Bale was injured during last week’s UEFA Champions League match between Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund, and also missed the club’s La Liga clash against Espanyol. However, despite missing the game last Sunday, Bale showed up at Wales’ training camp the next morning, according to The Guardian.

However, Bale has withdrawn from Wales’ contest against Georgia in Tbilisi scheduled for Friday, October 7, and the game against Ireland in Cardiff on October 10.

The final two qualifiers will decide Wales’ participation in the next World Cup, and the absence of Bale, who attended the Welsh Football Association Awards on Monday night, could prove to be a big blow.

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane had informed last week that Bale was suffering from ‘muscle fatigue’, and it was ‘nothing important’.

“He could have played with us [against Espanyol] but I preferred to leave him out as he had a small complaint. He’s fine. After so many games at the start of the season and four months of injury, he was suffering after the game in Dortmund,” Zidane said last Sunday.

Wales need to win both their next two games in Group D to qualify for the main round. At present, they are behind Serbia by four points and have just a one-point lead over Republic of Ireland.

It is being reported that in his absence, the 17-year-old Ben Woodburn, who plays for Liverpool, could make his first start for Wales. So far Woodburn has impressed with a goal within five minutes against Austria, coming in as a substitute in the second-half, and also set up a goal in Wales’ 2-0 victory over Moldova earlier in September.

First Published: Oct 03, 2017 15:59 IST