Allen named in Wales squad

13 March 2013 01:17

Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen has been included in Chris Coleman's Wales squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Scotland and Croatia.

The former Swansea man is struggling with a shoulder injury which will require surgery.

Liverpool will have the final word on when the 22-year-old goes under the knife but, for now at least, he is available as Wales look to build on last month's encouraging friendly win over Austria.

Tottenham winger Gareth Bale is also included, with Wales hoping to see a continuation of his stunning recent form, which has delivered 11 goals in his last 10 games. But Celtic full-back Adam Matthews misses out with the hamstring injury he picked up in the Scottish club's Champions League exit at the hands of Juventus.

James Collins provides a welcome option at centre-half after missing the 2-1 win over the Austrians, while Leeds striker Steve Morison is another to return from injury. But Darcy Blake has been deemed short of match fitness and is omitted.

Uncapped midfielder Jonathan Williams is promoted from the under-21 squad after scoring in their 3-0 win over Iceland and impressing with his performances for Crystal Palace.

Cardiff striker Craig Bellamy is again included after rubbishing reports of retiring from international football. Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey is also back after being a late withdrawal for the game against Austria.

Wayne Hennessey is a long-term absentee as the Wolves number one continues his rehabilitation from a serious knee injury, so Boaz Myhill, Lewis Price and Owain Fon Williams are the three goalkeepers selected.

Wales face Scotland, in Gordon Strachan's first competitive game in charge, at Hampden Park a week on Friday, before meeting Croatia in Swansea the following Tuesday.

Coleman's side are currently seven points off the pace in Group A

Source: PA