Wales star Gareth Bale ruled out of crucial World Cup qualifier against Ireland
Wales will be without Real Madrid star Gareth Bale for their final World Cup qualifier against Ireland in Cardiff next Monday.
Bale missed Madrid's 2-0 win over Espanyol last weekend with hamstring strain, with the injury serious enough to keep the star attacker out of Wales' qualifier away to Georgia on Friday as well as their final game against Martin O'Neill's side.
Bale's fitness has been a source of concern for Wales since he suffered a calf muscle strain against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League last week.
Ireland need two wins from their final two games - they also host Moldova at the Aviva Stadium this Friday - to have a chance of securing a playoff spot, and the absence of Bale will boost the Boys in Green's chances.
Wales are currently in second position in Group D, just one point ahead of Ireland as the teams prepare for their final two qualifiers.
Ireland take on Chris Coleman's men at Cardiff City Stadium at 19.45 next Monday night.