Bale scare and Allen blow no help to Wales boss Coleman
SCOTLAND v WALES (Friday, KO 8pm)
WALES boss Chris Coleman is sweating on the condition of star man Gareth Bale after he was injured at the weekend.
Although he played 90 minutes for Tottenham in their 1-0 home defeat to Fulham, the former Southampton man picked up an ankle injury just before half time.
With Spurs losing the game and with their strikers in less than stellar form, Bale stayed on in a ‘needs-must’ capacity but could clearly be seen favouring his ankle throughout the second period.
An FAW spokesman confirmed to the Argus that they were aware of the challenge and it was a situation being monitored with Bale expected to join-up with the rest of the squad yesterday afternoon.
Tottenham manager Andre Villas Boas said he is happy for Bale to be assessed by the Welsh medical staff but it’ll still come as a concern for Coleman who has already lost two likely starters for the double-header with Scotland and Croatia.
Liverpool’s Joe Allen won’t play any part in the two games after he was scheduled in for shoulder surgery this Thursday.
News of Allen’s injury emerged a fortnight ago but the former Swansea man was able to play against both Spurs and then Southamp-ton at the weekend.
Leeds United striker Steve Morison is also out after picking up a calf strain.
Morison, who started the season with Norwich, has generally been Coleman’s preferred choice as a target man in a 4-3-3 formation.
He has been replaced by Crystal Palace forward Jermain Easter who scored on his debut with his first touch for loan club Millwall at the weekend.
The fact that Easter has been selected suggests that former Bluebird Robert Earnshaw, who has signed for Toronto in the MLS, is unlikely to be recalled to the squad.
l Wales have announced another ‘derby’ fixture as they are to play the Republic of Ireland in a friendly international this August.
The match will take place at Cardiff City Stadium on Wednesday, August 14, as both sides prepare for the closing stages of their respective World Cup qualifying campaigns with Wales facing Macedonia (away) and Serbia (home).
The sides have met on 12 previous occasions, with Giovanni Trapattoni’s men winning the last contest 3-0 in February 2011.
Wales manager Coleman said: “This will be a very useful test for us before embarking on the two World Cup games in September.
“The timing of the August friendly match is always so near to the start of the new domestic season, so that means a home game is always useful to cut-down on travelling and I am sure that our friends from Ireland will feel the same.
“Their players are all well-known to us, as we will be to them, so it promises to be a good match to get the new season under way and I hope our fans will turn-out to support the team.”