Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey will miss Wales’ friendly against the Netherlands as the Real Madrid and Arsenal stars recuperate from respective injuries.
The pair played crucial roles in helping Wales qualify for Euro 2016 and a place at a major tournament for the first time since 1958.
Bale has played just 45 minutes for Madrid since the last international break, having broken down with a calf injury, while Ramsey aggravated a hamstring issue in Arsenal’s Champions League contest with Bayern Munich shortly after Wales’ final Euro 2016 qualifier against Andorra.
Wales boss Chris Coleman, who could hand a senior debut to Walsall striker Tom Bradshaw in Bale’s absence is happy to see his star duo rested in order to benefit their long-term health.
Coleman said: “It’s not that Madrid said you can’t take him. The wise thing to do is miss this game, he uses the time wisely with Madrid’s medical team.
“Gareth Bale wants to be back playing for Madrid, he loves playing for Madrid so it’s in our interests long term not to take chances.
“He’ll have a special training programme to get him up to scratch.
“It went down to the wire but until the weekend you think two or three days can make a big difference.
“There was a good conversation but both parties think it’s the right thing to do. He can concentrate on getting that bit fitter because if he comes with us, he’s got all the travelling and the games maybe that could have an impact.
“There’s no need to take the risk, we understand where Madrid come from and it’s the wise choice.”
Wales squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Wayne Hennessey (Crystal Palace), Owain Fon Williams (Inverness Caledonian Thistle), Danny Ward (Liverpool).
Defenders: James Chester (West Brom), James Collins (West Ham). Ben Davies (Tottenham), Paul Dummett (Newcastle United), Chris Gunter (Reading), Adam Henley (Blackburn Rovers), Neil Taylor (Swansea City), Ashley Williams (Swansea City).
Midfielders: Joe Allen (Liverpool), David Cotterill (Birmingham City), David Edwards (Wolves), Emyr Huws (Wigan Athletic), Andy King (Leicester City), Joe Ledley (Crystal Palace), David Vaughan (Nottingham Forest), Jonathan Williams (Crystal Palace).
Strikers: Tom Bradshaw (Walsall), Simon Church (MK Dons), Tom Lawrence (Leicester City), Sam Vokes (Burnley).