Wales vs Spain: Ryan Giggs urges players to see Gareth Bale's absence as an opportunity

By On October 10, 2018

Wales vs Spain: Ryan Giggs urges players to see Gareth Bale's absence as an opportunity

Wales manager Ryan Giggs says Gareth Bale’s absence from Thursday’s friendly against Spain is an opportunity for his other players to prove they are not a one-man team.

The Real Madrid forward has been ruled out of the match in Cardiff with a groin problem described as “muscle fatigue” and Giggs said he had a “50-50” chance of facing Ireland in Tuesday’s UEFA Nations League game in Dublin.

Giggs has several attacking alternatives in his young squad and he is counting on them to show there is life without the country’s all-time leading scorer.

“We obviously have options,” he said. “We’ve got Sam Vokes, Tom Lawrence, Tyler Roberts, who can all play up top, or you can play two up top.

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1/12 Fifa FIFPro World XI

FIFA via Getty Images

2/12 GK: David de Gea

Manchester United and Belgium Getty Images

3/12 DR: Dani Alves

Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil Icon Sport via Getty Images

4/12 DC: Raphael Varane

Real Madrid and France AFP/Getty Images

5/12 DC: Sergio Ramos

Real Madrid and Spain Getty Images

6/12 DL: Marcelo

Real Madrid and Brazil NurPhoto via Getty Images
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7/12 MF: N'Golo Kante

Chelsea and France Getty Images

8/12 MF: Luka Modric

Real Madrid and Croatia NurPhoto via Getty Images

9/12 MF: Eden Hazard

Chelsea and Belgium CameraSport via Getty Images

10/12 FW: Lionel Messi

Barcelona and Argentina Getty Images

11/12 FW: Kylian Mbappe

Paris Saint-Germain and France Icon Sport via Getty Images

12/12 FW: Cristiano Ronaldo

Juventus and Portugal NurPhoto via Getty Images

“We need those options because Gareth sometimes isn’t going to be there. That was something I was aware of when we took over. That was why I tried to push a lot of the young playe rs through and sort of fast-track them. We need a Plan B.”

Giggs said Wales would consult Real Madrid’s medical staff before taking a decision on whether or not to field Bale against Ireland.

Bale, 29, has not trained since joining up with the squad, but he has been attending team meetings and will be in the changing room on Thursday.

Wales opened their Nations League campaign with a one-sided 4-1 win over Ireland in Cardiff last month, before losing 2-0 to Denmark in Aarhus.

The Football Association of Wales has switched Thursday’s game to the Principality Stadium in the hope of cashing in on the presence of Spain stars such as David de Gea and Sergio Ramos.

A crowd of over 50,000 is expected and at Giggs’s request the roof will be closed to enhance the atmosphere and mitigate against the risk of rain.

Giggs described the pitch as “magnificent” and joked that it might work against Wales, given the clinical manner in which Spain dismantled World Cup finalists Croatia 6-0 on their last outing.

“The pitch might be too good!” he said. “I thought about growing the grass a little bit longer.”

Ryan Giggs has urged his players to seize their chance (Getty)

Wales have not played at the 74,500-seater Principality Stadium since a Euro 2012 qualifier against England in March 2011.

Attendances fell below 20,000 during the latter years of the team’s full-time occupancy of the national stadium, prompting the successful move to the smaller Cardiff City Stadium.

Wales captain Ashley Williams is one of the few players in the current squad who remembers what it was like to play at the Principality Stadium and there was a pregnant pause when he was asked how he remembered the ground.

“Not full, if I’m being honest,” he said after a moment of reflection.

Gareth Bale will miss out (Getty)

Williams was one of the stalwarts of the side that reached the semi-finals of Euro 2016 under Giggs’s predecessor, Chris Coleman, but he believes the c urrent squad is even stronger.

“This is the strongest squad I’ve seen since I’ve been playing for Wales,” he said.

“If I look at the last camp, there were two XIs that could go out and be as strong as each other. We’ve never really had that.”

Spain, who host England in the Nations League on Monday, held a minute’s silence before Wednesday’s training session in memory of the victims of the flooding in Majorca.

Luis Enrique is without Isco, Diego Costa, Dani Carvajal and Sergi Roberto due to injury, but could still rest players with a view to the England game.

“I know what I’m going to do, but I don’t want to reveal anything now,” the Spain coach told his pre-match press conference.

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Source: Google News Spain | Netizen 24 Spain

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