Bale injury deals hammer blow to Wales' World Cup hopes

  • Bale injury deals hammer blow to Wales' World Cup hopes

Bale injury deals hammer blow to Wales' World Cup hopes

According to a report from Marca this afternoon, Real Madrid star Gareth Bale is set for a month on the sidelines with a calf injury. Serbia are favourites to win the group, as they lead Wales by four points.

But Derby striker Lawrence - who is now expected to carry more of an attacking burden in Georgia on Friday and at home to the Republic three days later - believes Wales have shown they can prosper without Bale.

Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale could miss both Champions League matches against former club Tottenham Hotspur as a result of a calf injury.

Bale's absence could now see teenager Ben Woodburn make his first start for Wales after his stunning impact in helping Wales win their previous two qualifiers against Austria and Moldova.

The 28-year-old forward missed Real Madrid's league game with Espanyol on Sunday but reported to the Wales camp the following morning.

Wales have not won any competitive game without Bale since 2013 and have not won an away qualification match without him since a 1-0 win over Azerbaijan in June 2009.

He reported for worldwide 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.

Wales will be without their talisman for their final two 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

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

As for taking Bale's spot, Lawrence added: "I wouldn't say I can replace him".