February 24, 2018

Wales look to Aaron Ramsey for inspiration in crunch visit to Georgia

07 October 2017, 11:11 | Randolph Howard

Bale Ruled Out Of 2018 World Cup Qualifiers

The time is right for the great Irish Bale out

Tom Lawrence scored his first global goal to earn Wales a vital 1-0 victory in Georgia on Friday and keep them in the hunt for a place at next year's World Cup.

Wales will be missing its star player Gareth Bale due to injury in this match, which could prove to be a massive downfall for the team.

Now, a calf problem suffered in an impressive performance against Borussia Dortmund last week has ruled him out of Wales' crucial World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and the Republic of Ireland.

He had been expected to make the games but is now officially out leaving Wales with a mountain to climb. "Republic of Ireland will come to party". Wales have been low-scoring in this campaign anyway - their last six games have had under 2.5 goals - and six of their last 10 matches without Bale have had unders.

"When you get to your late 20s it hits home that you need to start making changes".

Wales had looked the more accomplished team before the opening goal and had squandered a number of reasonable chances to take the lead in the first half.

With Bale absent, Wales will look to Ramsey for inspiration, just as they did in Serbia in June, when the Arsenal midfielder thrived on the extra responsibility. An additional three points make Wales stay in second place with 17 points or just one point adrift of leaders Serbia who are competing at home to Austria.

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Wales' last win without Bale came in Macedonia four years ago, with three draws and three defeats in his absence since then.

Wales are keen to play down any talk of a club versus country row and boss Chris Coleman said: "He's not trained with us or been in any session with us".

"I would be looking to give Woodburn a start after being so influential in his last two games but Hal Robson-Kanu could be the hero".

Unbeaten Wales' penchant for drawing games (they have drawn five of their eight qualifiers) has put them at risk of being the unlucky runner-up should they finish second.

"We're on risky ground if we go in with a game plan of trying to soak the pressure up for 90 minutes".

None of the seven players in the Wales side on a booking picked up a caution, meaning Wales will be free of suspension for the Ireland match.

"I thought we did well, we knew they were going to be a tough team to beat and I thought we did well and managed to get the win".

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