Sep 8, 2013, 9:58 PM EDT
This wouldn’t be news of the latest Real Madrid Galactico had seen time this year for either the Merengues or Tottenham Hotspur, but since Gareth Bale has yet to play a minute with either his current or former team, the possibility of him stepping onto the pitch Tuesday against Serbia is worth note.
Out for the season’s first three weeks with a foot problem, Bale was also unable to appear in Wales’ August friendly against Ireland. He also missed Friday’s World Cup Qualifier at Macedonia. Yet ahead of Tuesday’s visit from Serbia at Cardiff City Stadium, Wales manager Chris Coleman refuses to rule the 24-year-old out.
From The Guardian (linked, above):
“I’m not thinking about just one game … I’ve got to look at the bigger picture. When we are selecting the team we are thinking of sending players back fit and not risking them. We have to build long-term relationships. It’s the same for all of them, whether it’s Gareth, Aaron Ramsey or Jack Collison. Will Gareth start against Serbia? No. Can he play a part? We’ll see.”
We’ll also see if you’re just keeping the possibility alive to maintain interest. It wasn’t so long ago (February) that Wales was drawing only 8,202 for a home qualifier against Austria. Since, they’ve had over 25,000 show up for Scotland and another 12,500 come to see Croatia.
With neither Wales nor Serbia in contention to qualify for Brazil 2014, will people show up? Bale potentially playing makes it more likely.
But the fact that this is a meaningless game does call into question whether Coleman should risk Bale. It’s something the former Wales international undoubtedly has on his mind.
If there is any risk, Bale’s unlikely to play. At a minimum, the player will have a huge say as to how much he’s exposed.
Although Coleman’s leaving the possibility of Bale playing open, it’s unlikely the Real Madrid winger will be pressed into serious action. If he plays at all, it will likely be a late cameo, one where Bale can justify steering clear of trouble.
Apr 19, 2014, 10:55 PM EDT
Juan Guzman gave Giancarlo Gonzalez a pass. Columbus came back to claim a draw.
Apr 19, 2014, 10:11 PM EDT
Two separate leads were pulled back as the Whitecaps fought back at BC Place.
Apr 19, 2014, 9:24 PM EDT
NBC’s team on the scene reacts to the day’s big result:
Apr 19, 2014, 8:49 PM EDT
San Jose remains without a win beside playing the second place Rapids to a standstill.
Apr 19, 2014, 7:43 PM EDT
Look back at a Saturday that helped bring clarity to the Premier League’s title race.
Apr 19, 2014, 7:07 PM EDT
Two weeks ago, it was Mike Magee. On Saturday, it was Juan Luis Anagonó who couldn’t covert late from the spot.
Apr 19, 2014, 6:29 PM EDT
Will Bruin and Andrew Wenger came close, but neither were able to keep his team from playing out a scoreless draw.
Apr 19, 2014, 4:15 PM EDT
A host of teams are battling it out to determine who will fill Germany’s European spots. Meanwhile, the rush to avoid the drop continues.
Apr 19, 2014, 3:38 PM EDT
Chicago goes for its first win while New England looks to make it two-in-a-row, and it all starts at 4:00 p.m. ET on NBC/NBC Sports Live Extra:
Apr 19, 2014, 3:20 PM EDT
All the recaps, analysis and video highlights from a sensational Saturday:
Apr 19, 2014, 2:56 PM EDT
Watch Chelsea’s manager implode in the post-match TV interview, as his unbeaten streak comes to an end:
Apr 19, 2014, 2:52 PM EDT
Lazio, Torino and Parma all dropped points, opening a path for AC Milan to push into Italy’s final Europa League spot.
Apr 19, 2014, 2:32 PM EDT
Chelsea lose at home in PL under Mourinho for first time in 77 matches, as Sunderland shock Blues:
Apr 19, 2014, 1:26 PM EDT
Blues and Black Cats locked at 1-1 after nervy first half, watch live online right here:
Apr 19, 2014, 1:07 PM EDT
According to the Fulham manager, if his side win their two remaining home matches, the Whites will stay up.
Apr 19, 2014, 12:21 PM EDT
Cardiff and Stoke both score PKs, as Bluebirds fail to take another step towards safety:
Apr 19, 2014, 12:14 PM EDT
Aston Villa may have clinched a vital point in the battle for safety, playing out a goalless draw with Southampton at Villa Park.
Apr 19, 2014, 12:08 PM EDT
Swansea secure vital win, as Newcastle slump to yet another defeat.
Apr 19, 2014, 11:58 AM EDT
Tony Pulis has done it once more – with three points from West Ham, Crystal Palace are now assured of a second consecutive Premier League season.
Apr 19, 2014, 11:49 AM EDT
Can Chelsea go top of the Premier League by beating struggling Sunderland? Watch live, right here:
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- WATCH: All the goals, highlights from Saturday in the Premier League 0
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- Chelsea 1-2 Sunderland: Blues’ title dreams in ruins, as Black Cats grab shock win (video) 5