Bale Injury Blow For Wales

Bale out - Wales without Madrid man for final two qualifiers

Reports spread earlier today that Bale had been ruled out of Wales' upcoming World Cup qualifiers with Georgia and the Republic of Ireland later this week, though it was not yet clear exactly how long he was set to be sidelined.

Wales will probably revert to their famous 5-2-3, with Liverpool's Ben Woodburn taking Bale's place in the attacking trident with Ramsey and one of Sam Vokes or Hal Robson-Kanu.

The 28-year-old missed their La Liga game with Espanyol on Sunday but reported to the Wales camp the following morning.

Gareth Bale has lost out in the voting for Welsh Footballer of the Year after four consecutive years of winning the award.

Lawrence started the last two World Cup qualifiers alongside Bale, last month's victories against Austria and Moldova.

Despite the strength in depth in Chris Coleman's current squad, Tom Lawrence admits it is hard to replace someone of Bale's calibre - but says that Wales can still qualify for the World Cup in Russian Federation without him.

Gunter has again been ever-present for Wales in 2017 to take his number of caps to 81 - the second most by an outfield player, with only Gary Speed ahead of him on 85.

"It's obviously a massive loss because he's a great player who plays for Real Madrid".

As for taking Bale's spot, Lawrence added: "I wouldn't say I can replace him".

"But we've got a strong squad and whoever comes in needs to step and do a job".

The first team of each of the nine groups qualifies directly to the 2018 World Cup, while the best eight second placed teams will have to go through a playoff to earn a place.

In order to secure a play-off place, Wales would realistically need at least four points from the final two group games.

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