Sunday 16 June 2019

Gareth Bale is '50-50' for the Nations League game with Ireland, says Wales manager Ryan Giggs

Wales' Gareth Bale. Photo: PA
Wales' Gareth Bale. Photo: PA

Sam Dean

Gareth Bale has been given only a “50-50” chance of being available for Wales’ Nations League meeting with Republic of Ireland next week.

Bale will not feature in Thursday’s friendly against Spain as a result of the “muscle fatigue” that forced him off in the 80th minute of Real Madrid’s defeat by Deportivo Alavés last weekend.

Ryan Giggs, the Wales manager, played down the severity of Bale’s injury but added that he is preparing for both scenarios in case the player is not available for the trip to Dublin.

“Gareth has got a little bit of muscle fatigue and he won’t be involved against Spain,” Giggs said. “We don’t want to take any risks and we are monitoring it every day. I would say he is 50-50 at the minute for the Ireland game.”

Bale has scored five goals in 11 games this season, including one against Ireland in Wales’ comprehensive 4-1 victory in Cardiff last month.

Bale had a groin scan in Madrid in recent weeks and was given another by the Wales medical team. “We rescanned it and have done everything we can to get as much information,” Giggs said.

“There was a little bit on both scans, but there is always something. We are treating the symptoms but it is nothing to worry about. Either way, I expect him to be fit for Madrid’s next game.

“It is something of nothing but it is a short turnaround and we’ll take no chances. If he’s available, he’s available. The medical team are constantly in dialogue with Madrid, like they are with every team.

“When you have niggly injuries it’s maybe at the back of your mind until you’re flying again, but I’m not worried and Gareth isn’t worried.”

The injury means that Bale will be unable to play against some of his Madrid team-mates at the Principality Stadium on Thursday.

This is the first game Wales have played at the stadium since March 2011, when they lost 2-0 to England in a European Championship qualifier.

The roof will be closed for the meeting with Luis Enrique’s side, with Giggs hoping the atmosphere will be “special” for his players, many of whom have never played at the stadium.

“It looks like it [the attendance] is going to be over 50,000, which is great,” Giggs said. “The pitch is magnificent - maybe too good. I thought about growing the grass a little bit longer. But it will be a great test against a very good team.”

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