Gareth Bale back in Wales squad following suspension

25 August 2017 12:39

Gareth Bale returns to the Wales squad for the 2018 World Cup qualifying double-header against Austria and Moldova.

The Real Madrid forward missed the 1-1 draw in Serbia in June because of a one-match ban.

Joe Allen and Neil Taylor will miss the home game against Austria in Cardiff on September 2 through suspension, but the pair are available for the Moldova trip three days later.

"It's nice to have Gareth back and also Neil Taylor for the Moldova game," Wales manager Chris Coleman said.

"Gareth is a natural athlete, but at this stage of the season some players take a bit longer to find their best.

"Is he 100 per cent where he could be? We'll see where he is when we get him.

"But in fairness to some of the guys who went to Serbia that squad was absolutely magnificent."

Wales have problems in midfield for the Austria game with Allen suspended, Emyr Huws injured and Andy King and David Edwards having had limited game-time for their clubs at the start of the season.

Joe Ledley is also without a club since leaving Crystal Palace in the summer.

Ledley featured against Serbia, but has hardly played since February.

But Coleman says Ledley will start against Austria if he is "anywhere near fit."

"I'm flabbergasted Joe is not with a club, although he's obviously had offers," Coleman said.

"We'll get him as fit as we possibly can and he'll start if he's anywhere near fit because he's been brilliant for me.

"He'll have a little bit extra to do in training, but when you've got someone like that you've got to make the most of it.

"If he's anywhere near, we won't have any qualms of putting him in."

Source: PA


World Cup Group G

TEAM W D L GD Pts
Belgium 0 1 0 0 1
Panama 0 1 0 0 1
Tunisa 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0
Last updated : 16:48