Injured Bale out of Wales World Cup qualifiers

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Bale's fitness has been a source of concern since he suffered a calf muscle strain playing for Real Madrid against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League last week.

Gareth Bale has been ruled out of Wales' final two World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and the Republic of Ireland.

Those chances have been bolstered considerably with news that Gareth Bale will miss his country's last two games.

"He could have played with us (against Espanyol) but I preferred to leave him out as he had a small complaint", Zidane said on Sunday.

They now trail second placed Wales by a point in Group D though both sides know that, realistically, they need to win their final two games to have any chance of a play-off.

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However, Bale has withdrawn from Wales' contest against Georgia in Tbilisi scheduled for Friday, October 7, and the game against Ireland in Cardiff on October 10.

He reported for global duty with the rest of the squad on Monday, and took part in a light training session with the players who featured in the Premier League on Sunday.

Second place could be enough to earn Chris Coleman's team a place in the play-offs, which will see eight of the nine runners-up in qualifying groups play for four remaining places in Russian Federation 2018.

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.

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