Confirmed: Gareth Bale is out of tonight’s showdown against Belgium
Gareth Bale will play no part in tonight’s vital World Cup qualifier against Belgium.
Yesterday, it was reported that he was a doubt for tonight’s game, with a chance he could feature from the bench.
However, it’s now emerged he is not in the 23 player match day squad.
Bale won his 100th cap in the 5-1 victory over Belarus on Saturday after two months out with a hamstring injury but came off after 45 minutes.
The Wales captain trained on his own away from the main group on Monday.
Manager Robert Page told the Press Association yesterday: “He was never going to start against Belgium.
“We knew that coming into camp. The plan was always for him to get a half in the first game and then come on and maybe have an impact in the second game.”
On Bale’s recovery following the Belarus game, Page said: “He is going to be stiff. He has not played for a couple of months and to throw him in was a big ask from a physical point of view.
“He’ll recover on his own (on Monday) and we’ll leave it to the last minute to see if he can play minutes. He is getting there, slowly but surely. We will get him back to full fitness.
“It’s frustrating for him. He made a tremendous effort to get fit for the game and he takes credit for that.”
Wales are guaranteed a World Cup play-off spot in March through their Nations League results.
But Page’s side need at least a point against Belgium to finish second in the group and potentially secure a semi-final tie at home.
Meanwhile Bale’s Real Madrid teammates Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois will play no part for Belgium in tonight’s World Cup qualifier having left the Red Devils camp to return to the Spanish giants.
Belgium will also be without a number of regular first team stars including talismanic striker Romelu Lukaku, alongside Michy Batshuayi, Youri Tielemans, Jeremy Doku, Thomas Vermaelen, Toby Alderweireld, Jason Denayer and Simon Mignolet.
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It’s a team game and Bale is just one member of the team.
A pretty important member admittedly, but plenty of other players are able to step up!