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Gareth Bale in Wales’ squad for decisive Euro 2020 qualifiers

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Forward Gareth Bale has been named in Wales’ squad for their decisive Euro 2020 qualifiers, despite not playing for Real Madrid since his country’s 1-1 draw with Croatia last month.

Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey is also included after missing October’s internationals with an injury.

Wales need to win in Azerbaijan on November 16 and then beat Hungary at home to have any chance of qualifying.

They also rely on Slovakia dropping points in their remaining two matches.

Bale finished the October 13 game against Croatia in Cardiff limping and was said by Wales’ manager Ryan Giggs to be suffering from cramp. However, the 30-year-old has not been named in any Real Madrid squad since returning to Spain.

Zinedine Zidane, the La Liga giants’ boss, said last week that Bale is “back out on the pitch working to get fit again”, but has not specified what his injury is.

Giggs said he was in “constant contact” with Bale who told him he was confident of being fit in time to play for Wales.

The former Manchester United star also hopes the forward will play a part in Real’s La Liga match with Eibar on Saturday, 9 November.

“That’s the ideal situation, that he gets minutes before he meets us,” he said.

“But it is literally day by day that we’re monitoring it, but that’s what we’re hoping – that he gets some action this weekend.”

Asked if he feared it would look bad if Bale played for Wales before playing for Real, Giggs replied: “If he is fit, he is fit, it’s as simple as that.

“I don’t feel any pressure. He is desperate to play for Wales but he also wants to play for Real Madrid as well. If he turns up and plays two fantastic games for us that can only be good for Real Madrid.”

Bale is the top story on the Spanish sports newspapers yesterday. Marca lead with the headline ‘Bale says yes with Wales’, while AS’ headline is ‘Triple bogey: Bale ups tension between him & Real Madrid’.

Ramsey, 28, has not featured at all for Wales this season because of several long-running fitness concerns.

His last appearance for his country was in November 2018, but he has recently come off the bench in two Serie A games for Juventus.

“I wouldn’t say he’s 100% match fit but he looks good and he looks sharp,” said Giggs.

“We’ll see what he’s like when he meets up with us next week and monitor it from there.”

FC St Pauli’s James Lawrence also returns but Wales will be without fellow defender Joe Rodon, as well as midfielders Dave Brooks and Jonny Williams, who are all injured.

Joe Allen is suspended for the trip to Azerbaijan but will be available for the final game against Hungary in Cardiff on 19 November.

Wales boss Giggs has also named two uncapped players in the squad: Manchester United’s teenage midfielder Dylan Levitt and former United centre-back Regan Poole.

The 21-year-old MK Dons player was called up as a replacement last month when Chris Mepham withdrew before the 1-1 draw in Slovakia.


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