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Bale fit for crucial Croatia clash

Gareth Bale has been declared fit for Wales as they prepare to face Croatia in Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier.

The 23-year-old was substituted midway through the 2-1 win over Scotland on Friday after aggravating an ankle injury and failing to fully overcome an illness.

Wales manager Chris Coleman had earlier insisted that Bale would not be risked for the clash with Igor Stimac’s men if he were below full fitness but revealed on Monday that the Tottenham star is fit for the Group A game.

“He’s trained well so I think he’s in a lot better nick than he was going into the Scotland game. I think he should be okay,” Coleman told Sky Sports.

A loss on Tuesday would see Wales fall 10 points behind the second-placed Croatia in their quest to qualify for World Cup 2014 and the manager believes that his squad will have to be at their very best against a side boasting the likes of Real Madrid playmaker Luka Modric.

“Croatia have impressed me the most – offensively they’re very aggressive and they’re quite physical,” Coleman said, “and obviously they’ve got a guy in the middle of the park, Luka Modric, who would grace any team.”

Tue 26 Mar, 2013
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