Wednesday 17 January 2018

Gareth Bale looks certain to be fit for Ireland showdown as he prepares for comeback

Gareth Bale and (inset) Martin O'Neill
Gareth Bale and (inset) Martin O'Neill
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Gareth Bale looks certain to be available for Wales in their vital World Cup qualifier against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin next month, as he prepares for a return to full training with Real Madrid in the next week.

Bale has been out of action since undergoing ankle surgery on November 29th, with some reports at the time suggesting the Welshman could be sidelined until April.

That timescale would have ruled him out of the pivotal clash against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium, yet reported at the time that the 27-year-old would be back in good time to prove his fitness to Wales boss Chris Coleman.

The latter of those two scenarios now appears to be playing out, with Bale already in light training as he pushes to make a first team return with Spanish league leaders Real Madrid.

A video posted by Gareth Bale (@garethbale11) on

A report in Spanish newspaper Marca suggests Bale has targeted a return to action in Real Madrid’s game against Espanyol on February 18th, with Zinedine Zidane’s side set for a crucial few weeks as they continue the defence of their Champions League crown against Napoli later this month.

As this video posted by Bale last week confirms, he is closing in on a return to action in news that provides Wales with a much needed boost after a tricky start to their World Cup qualifiers.

Ireland are four points ahead of Wales with four games played in Group D, with the fist clash between the two sides in Dublin potentially decisive for both nations in their push to qualify for Russia 2018.

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