Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Gareth Bale absence won't change Spain's approach - Luis Enrique

Aaron Ramsey Wales 2018 Getty Images
Cassandra Castillo | 11 October, 2018, 18:03

Last weekend, Bale asked to be taken off in the second half of Real Madrid's league meeting with Alavés, citing fatigue.

Ryan Giggs has played down fears over the fitness of Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale despite ruling the Wales forward out of Thursday's friendly with Spain.

"Gareth has got a little bit of muscle fatigue and he won't be involved against Spain", Giggs said.

Spain manager Luis Enrique mentioned Leeds United centre-forward Tyler Roberts ahead of an upcoming global fixture against Wales and that should be a colossal boost to his ego.

"It's a notable absence for Wales but it doesn't change our concept of the game".

Bale has played nine matches for Real so far this season, scoring four goals and assisting a further three strikes.

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"Bale is a crucial player, with a lot of quality and a great shot", he said.

"I don't think I was ever 100 per cent [fit] when playing".

In his place Wolves defender Jonny has earned a first call-up, and though he has excelled at left wing-back in the Premier League, Enrique considers him more of an option at right-back.

Luis Enrique's men enjoyed a brilliant worldwide break last month, beating England 2-1 and Croatia 6-0 to storm their way to the top of their Nations League group.

"I want my players to compete at the highest level, regardless of whether this is a friendly or not", Luis Enrique said. "It's a game that allows me to try out different things".

Spain, meanwhile, have confirmed that a minute's silence will be observed ahead of the game in Wales following the deaths of 10 people due to Tuesday's flash flooding on the Spanish island of Mallorca.

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