Scotland v Wales preview: Bale set to feature in World Cup qualifier

Last Updated: 22/03/13 7:42pm

  • Share:
Gareth Bale: Inspired Wales to a 2-1 home victory over Scotland earlier in the campaign

Gareth Bale: Inspired Wales to a 2-1 home victory over Scotland earlier in the campaign

Sky Bet

Gordon Strachan takes charge of his first competitive match for Scotland in a Celtic battle against Wales at Hampden Park on Friday night.

Strachan was given the reins in January after Craig Levein paid the price for a poor start to the World Cup qualification campaign which has left Scotland bottom of Group A with just two points from four games.

A 1-0 victory over Estonia in a February friendly provided Strachan with an encouraging start to his tenure, but the hard works begins now with a double-header which also includes a trip to Serbia next Tuesday.

Strachan is relishing the challenge and believes his players are well prepared to make amends for a 2-1 defeat in Wales earlier in the season.

Gareth Bale netted a spectacular late winner in that fixture and will again be the centre of most of the focus at Hampden Park if, as expected, he is fit to start after a slight fitness concern this week.

Dundee interim manager John Brown has controversially suggested that Scotland should 'cancel out' Bale as he 'cannot run without legs', and Wales boss Chris Coleman has admitted it is important to have a strong referee.

Coleman is a man under pressure as Wales appear to be out of contention for a spot at the World Cup despite their thrilling home win over Scotland.

Wales have lost their three other Group A games, including a 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Serbia, and are already seven points adrift of joint leaders Belgium and Croatia.

A home game against Croatia follows the fixture in Glasgow and Coleman will be looking for some positive signs to take forward into the remainder of the campaign.

Scotland Badge Scotland

Scotland have been hit by a number of withdrawals ahead of kick-off after James Morrison joined Ross McCormack, James Forrest and Danny Fox in pulling out from the original squad.

Barry Bannan and Stephen Whittaker have been called up to join the group and are in contention to feature, along with the uncapped George Boyd, Liam Bridcutt and Gary Mackay-Steven.

Gary Caldwell will captain the side in the absence of Darren Fletcher, while Sunderland's Steven Fletcher is set to lead the line.

Wales Badge Wales

Wales manager Coleman is hopeful that Bale will be fit to start for Wales as he recovers from a virus, while the Tottenham star has also had a minor ankle knock this week.

However, Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen has been ruled out after being sent for shoulder surgery and Steve Morison and David Vaughan are also sidelined.

Bristol City defender Lewin Nyatanga and Crystal Palace forward Jermaine Easter have been added to the squad this week.

Previous game's starting line-ups

  • Marshall 1 Marshall
  • Hutton 2 Hutton
  • Martin R 5 Martin R
  • Robertson 3 Robertson
  • Ritchie 4 Ritchie

  • Brown S 8 Brown S
  • Morrison 7 Morrison
  • Anya 11 Anya

  • Maloney 6 Maloney
  • Fletcher 9 Fletcher
  • Naismith 10 Naismith

Team taken from Scotland vs Gibraltar (European Championship Qualifying) on Sunday 29th March 2015

  • Hennessey 1 Hennessey
  • Collins 19 Collins
  • Williams A 6 Williams A
  • Davies 5 Davies
  • Gunter 2 Gunter
  • Allen 7 Allen
  • Ledley 16 Ledley

  • Taylor 3 Taylor
  • Bale 11 Bale
  • Ramsey 10 Ramsey

  • Robson-Kanu 9 Robson-Kanu

Team taken from Wales vs Israel (European Championship Qualifying) on Saturday 28th March 2015

  • Share:


Scotland v Wales

Kenny Miller: May be ready to slip into international retirement

Miller: I won't grace finals

Kenny Miller concedes that his chances of gracing a major international tournament with Scotland appear to have passed.

Gareth Bale: Lasted just 45 minutes against Scotland on Friday

Coleman won't gamble on Bale

Wales coach Chris Coleman has assured Tottenham Hotspur that he will not be gambling on Gareth Bale's fitness.

Shaun Maloney: Admits confidence has been severely dented as Scotland lie bottom of Group A

Maloney: Confidence is low

Shaun Maloney admits Scotland's confidence is at an all-time low following Friday's World Cup qualifying loss to Wales.


Most Popular


Brits abroad analysed

Brits abroad analysed

A Spanish renaissance and a top-scorer gong, it's been a mixed season for Brits abroad.

Barker's O2 guide

Barker's O2 guide

There are three world title fights plus Anthony Joshua on Saturday night - but the undercard could steal the show.

Who is Jeffrey Webb?

Who is Jeffrey Webb?

We profile Jeffrey Webb, one of seven FIFA officials arrested on Wednesday morning by Swiss authorities.