Wales boss Ryan Giggs says Gareth Bale is “50-50” to face Ireland at Aviva Stadium in their Nations League clash next Tuesday.
Bale will miss the chance to face Spain and his Real Madrid teammates including Sergio Ramos and Nacho in an international friendly at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff this evening (7.45pm) but could be back to face Ireland in Dublin, said Giggs.
“I’d say he’s 50-50 at the minute for the Ireland game,” said Giggs, whose side are second in Nations League B group four, level on three points with leaders Denmark and above bottom side Ireland on none but having played a game more.
“He had a scan last week, a couple of weeks ago with Real Madrid. We rescanned it and have done everything we can to get as much information,” said Giggs.
“There was a little bit on both scans — but there’s always something. We’re treating the symptoms but it’s nothing to worry about.
“He won’t be involved against Spain. We don’t want to take any risks and we are monitoring it every day. Playing in Spain he wants to be a part of it but first and foremost, health comes first. We want a fit and raring to go Gareth Bale.”
Meanwhile, Spain manager Luis Enrique has defended the Nations League after Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp described it as “the most senseless competition in the world”.
Enrique’s side sit top of their Nations League group after two opening wins, and resume their campaign against England in Seville on Monday.
But Uefa’s new competition has had its critics and Klopp joined that number on Sunday after Liverpool’s Premier League draw against Manchester City, bemoaning the fact his players had to go away to play in it.
“The Nations League, for me, is a very attractive competition, a perfect competition,” Enrique said at his pre-match conference for tonight’s friendly with Wales in Cardiff (7.45pm).
“It helps me to see my players compete with selections at our level. It also gives us the option of being able to win a title this summer.”
Spain beat England 2-1 at Wembley last month and Enrique is expected to rotate his squad ahead of the return game. Skipper Sergio Ramos, Sergio Busquets, and David de Gea could be among those who start on the bench.
“He who takes advantage of his opportunity and does well in training, will have minutes,” Enrique said.
“The attitude in everything that surrounds the team is important — and the value of this game is huge. We are in a process where no match can be wasted.”
The Spain squad held a minute’s silence before their training session at the Principality Stadium this evening. The players stood in memory of the victims of the Majorca flash flooding which has killed at least 10 people in the town of Sant Llorenc des Cardassar.
Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara said: “We’re here, not only as Spaniards, but as human beings. We’re feeling for the victims and we send our best to everyone who’s trying to help with the situation.”
Elsewhere, Leroy Sane is eager to make the most of his opportunity after being recalled by Germany following his World Cup omission.
The 22-year-old winger does not want to give boss Joachim Low “any chance” of leaving him out again.
Sane failed to make Low’s squad for the tournament despite the Manchester City player having won the Premier League and the PFA Young Player of the Year award last season.
He was recalled for matches against France and Peru in September, coming off the bench in the first of those before leaving the camp ahead of the second - he subsequently revealed he had been given permission to depart to be at the birth of his daughter.
Sane has been included in Low’s squad for the Nations League games away against Holland on Saturday and France on Tuesday.
He told the German FA’s site: “I work all the time (so) that I fit in tactically better in the team. I do not want to give the coach any chance to stop nominating me.”