Ryan Giggs monitoring Gareth Bale’s fitness ahead of crucial Wales qualifiers
Ryan Giggs remains hopeful Gareth Bale will make Wales’ decisive Euro 2020 qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Hungary.
Bale has not played since scoring in Wales’ 1-1 draw with Croatia last month, and his future at Real Madrid has been under intense scrutiny in recent weeks.
Wales boss Giggs said immediately after the Croatia game that Bale had suffered cramp, but the 30-year-old has a calf problem which is again expected to rule him out of Real’s Champions League tie against Galatasaray on Wednesday.
“It wasn’t a big injury, but with the short turnaround it’s a worry,” Giggs said after naming a 27-man squad for the November double-header.
“I’m in constant contact with him and he feels confident that he’ll be fit for the game.
“It’s just monitoring it this week, literally day by day. The last time I spoke to him he was confident he’d be OK.”
Real entertain Galatasaray and visit Eibar in LaLiga on Saturday before the international break.
Giggs is hoping that Bale – who admitted he was short of match sharpness in the summer qualifying defeats to Croatia and Hungary after a lack of game-time at the end of last season – will play before linking up with the Wales squad.
“That’s the ideal situation, that he gets minutes before meeting with us,” said Giggs.
“They’re huge games and we need to win them (to qualify), we know what we’ve got to do. We’ve played against both teams, we beat Azerbaijan and lost against Hungary.
“It’s a competitive group, you have to turn up on the night. But we’re in good form, we’ve got momentum and I’ve been delighted with the last three games with the performances. The team is in good shape at the moment and I’m confident.”
Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey, who is yet to play for Wales in Euro 2020 qualifying because of injuries, has also been included.
Ramsey missed last month’s draws against Slovakia and Croatia with a thigh problem.
“He’s come on in the last two games for Juventus and he’s looked sharp,” Giggs said.
“He’s looked full of running. He went through a stage where he started three games on the bounce before the last camp before he got that injury.
“I wouldn’t say he’s 100 per cent match fit but he looks good and he looks sharp. We’ll see what he’s like when he meets up with us next week and monitor it from there.”