Bale trains with Wales before World Cup playoff semi-final vs Austria

Gareth Bale trains with Wales ahead of their World Cup play-off semi-final against Austria in a huge boost for Robert Page – after star man missed Real Madrid’s El Clasico hammering through injury

  • Gareth Bale trained ahead of Wales’ World Cup playoff vs Austria on Thursday
  • The Real Madrid star missed their El Clasico defeat on Sunday through injury
  • Carlo Ancelotti said Bale ‘didn’t feel well’ before their 4-0 thrashing vs Barcelona
  • But he trained with his Wales team-mates on Tuesday before their crucial playoff
  • Bale’s return to fitness comes as a major boost for Wales boss Robert Page 

Gareth Bale has handed Wales a World Cup play-off boost by training with the rest of the squad after missing Sunday’s El Clasico through injury.

Bale missed Real Madrid’s 4-0 defeat to Barcelona with manager Carlo Ancelotti saying after the game he ‘didn’t feel well’. Reports in Spain said the Wales captain had back pain.

‘He tried this morning but he wasn’t up to playing,’ Ancelotti said on Sunday.

‘He’s now going to join up with his national team and they’ll decide whether he plays or not.’

Gareth Bale trained for Wales on Tuesday before their World Cup playoff vs Austria

Bale missed Real Madrid’s El Clasico defeat against Barcelona through injury on Sunday

The early indications are that Bale will be fit enough to start against Austria in Cardiff on Thursday.

Robert Page’s entire 26-man squad trained in the Vale of Glamorgan sunshine ahead of Wales’ play-off semi-final.

Wales are hoping to secure their first appearance at a World Cup since 1958.

Should they beat Austria they would progress to a play-off final against Scotland or Ukraine. That tie has been delayed because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and is now set to take place in June.

Bale was unable to prevent Real from slumping to a calamitous defeat at the hands of El Clasico rivals Barca last weekend.

But the winger was back in training for his country ahead of their crucial playoff semi-final

Bale’s presence will be vital as Wales look to book their place in Qatar later this year

The Madrid star was seen laughing and joking with team-mate Joe Rodon in training

But on Thursday the Wales side will be down to business in their crunch clash with Austria

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s brace and goals from Ronald Araujo and Ferran Torres sealed a four-goal rout for the visitors within just 51 minutes at the Bernabeu, and left Madrid legend Guti scratching his head.

The former Los Blancos midfielder could not fathom why Ancelotti left the likes of Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Isco and Bale out of the game, before it later became apparent that the latter was suffering from injury.

‘I’m Ancelotti and I look at the bench and I have Hazard, Jovic, [Gareth] Bale, Isco… And you’re telling me that I can’t sub any of them in?’ he said on El Chiringuito. ‘What’s going on? I am getting lost. 

‘I watch the game against Barcelona and I see the Real Madrid bench and I find that in the second half the first change from Madrid is Mariano [Diaz]… How can this be? Aren’t Bale and Hazard there? Madrid’s first offensive change Mariano, who hasn’t played this year?’ 

Bale’s return to fitness comes as a major boost for Robert Page before Thursday’s game

The 32-year-old will be desperate to feature at the tournament, which begins in November

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