Ryan Giggs urges Wales to keep their discipline in Azerbaijan

Ryan Giggs has called for calm in Azerbaijan with star players Gareth Bale and Daniel James a booking away from missing Wales’ final Euro 2020 qualifier.

Wales probably need to win their final two games – away to Azerbaijan and Hungary at home on Tuesday – to secure automatic qualification at next summer’s tournament.

A hostile sell-out crowd awaits Wales at Baku’s Bakcell Arena, and manager Giggs is aware that Real Madrid forward Bale and Manchester United winger James are walking disciplinary tightropes.

“We’ve seen Joe Allen miss out on this game because of suspension,” Giggs said ahead of Saturday’s Group E clash.

“Discipline is a big part of winning games. But still you want players to be competitive but with an eye of not giving away stupid fouls to get easy yellow cards.”

Bale has not played since scoring in Wales’ 1-1 draw against Croatia last month.

The 30-year-old, who has not featured for Real since October 5, has been at the centre of a Spanish media storm after turning up for international duty following a calf injury.

Hungary v Wales – UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying – Group E – Groupama Arena
Wales winger Daniel James is walking a disciplinary tightrope in the Euro 2020 qualifier against Azerbaijan (Joe Giddens/PA)

Bale has been doing individual recovery work in recent weeks, but he has trained fully with Giggs’ squad since joining up with Wales last weekend.

“Gareth hasn’t played, which is not ideal, but he trained well at Real Madrid last week,” Giggs said.

“We tried to get some volume of training into him this week. We were able to do that on Tuesday and Wednesday. He looks good and feels good. I think he’ll be ready for the game.”

Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey will make his first appearance in Euro 2020 qualifying after overcoming hamstring and thigh injuries.

Wales could qualify by taking four points from the final two games, but the realistic scenario is that they will have to beat Azerbaijan and Hungary.

“It’s good to have Aaron back,” Giggs said.

“But, like Gareth, the shortage of game time is something I’m going to have to look at. Obviously you’re running out of games. But we’re just focused on winning this game. It’s as simple as that.

“Azerbaijan had a good result at home last time, drawing against Croatia, so it’s not easy. But the lads are ready for it.”

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