Bale faces fitness race for Wales’ clash with Republic of Ireland

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Gareth Bale has been given 24 hours to prove his fitness for Wales’ UEFA Nations League showdown with Republic of Ireland.

Bale missed the 4-1 friendly defeat to Spain in Cardiff on Thursday, after which manager Ryan Giggs said Wales’ talisman was “struggling” to make the trip to Dublin because of muscle fatigue.

The Real Madrid forward must train on Sunday to have any chance of playing at the Aviva Stadium 48 hours later.

But Wales will not take any risks over Bale’s fitness with Real monitoring the situation closely.

Wales v Spain – International Friendly – Principality Stadium
Gareth Bale, centre, was a spectator as Wales lost 4-1 to Spain at the Principality Stadium (Nick Potts/PA)

Real are in LaLiga and Champions League action against Levante and Viktoria Plzen before travelling to Barcelona for El Clasico on October 28.

Wales seem resigned to being without Bale and Ipswich winger Gwion Edwards was drafted in to the senior squad for the first time on Friday.

“It’s going to be a blow being without Gareth,” said midfielder Aaron Ramsey.

“We know how important he is for us as he has scored so many goals.

“But we are looking forward to that test and hopefully we can get back to winning ways.”

Wales were outclassed by Spanish opponents who sent out an ominous Nations League warning to England.

Spain entertain England in Seville on Monday and Ramsey said: “They beat the World Cup runners-up Croatia 6-0 last month, so they are in good form at the moment and we couldn’t live with them at times.

Wales v Spain – International Friendly – Principality Stadium
Aaron Ramsey admitted Wales were unable to live with Spain at times during their 4-1 defeat in Cardiff (Nick Potts/PA)

“I’m not going to reveal what was said in the dressing room, but he wasn’t happy.”

Sheffield United defender Kieron Freeman has also been drafted into the Wales squad ahead of Dublin with fitness concerns over Ethan Ampadu and Chris Mepham.

Notitngham-born Freeman, 26, has played at under-17, under-19 and under-21 level for Wales but has yet to make an appearance for the senior team.

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