Gareth Bale ruled out of crucial Wales World Cup qualifiers

Cheryl Sanders
October 3, 2017

Bale's fitness has been a source of concern for the national side since he suffered a calf muscle strain against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League last week.

Heading into the final two matches of World Cup qualifying-away to Georgia and home to Ireland-Wales have been handed a blow in the form of an injury to main man Gareth Bale.

Zinédine Zidane reported last weekend that Bale was suffering from "muscle fatigue" but the Real Madrid manager added it was "nothing important".

Wales are now second in Group D, four points behind leaders Serbia and one point above Ireland.

Ireland's hopes of beating Wales and picking up the six points we desperately need to earn a crack at a World Cup play-off have been boosted by the news that Gareth Bale won't be there to get in our way.

He reported for global duty with the rest of the squad on Monday, and took part in a light training session with the players who featured in the Premier League on Sunday.

Only the group winners are guaranteed a place at the World Cup in Russian Federation next year.

That goal will be much more achievable in Bale's absence.

The Welsh forward missed Madrid's 2-0 victory over Espanyol on Sunday and persistent injuries have been limited to 96 La Liga starts from a possible 159 since joining from Tottenham in 2013.

The 17-year-old made a dramatic introduction last month when he scored the victor within five minutes of coming on as a second-half substitute against Austria.

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