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Gareth Bale plays down injury fears for Wales

Gareth Bale, Wales, Real Madrid
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Gareth Bale dismissed fears over a knee problem he sustained at Slovakia by insisting he is “fit and fine” ahead of Wales’ showdown with Croatia.

Despite an early booking, Bale proved to be a regular threat for the Slovakia defence before suffering a knock to his knee. However, he still completed the full 90 minutes of Wales’ draw.

Now the Real Madrid winger has assured everyone that there are no issues to be worried about. In fact, he was more concerned about getting a second yellow card for a bad tackle he made on Milan Skriniar.

Given his dreadful run of luck with injuries in recent seasons, however, Bale’s news will come as a huge relief for both Real and Wales supporters.

“I’m fit and fine,” the 30-year-old told reporters.

“It was just a knock on the knee and some ice has sorted that out. I was more worried about getting sent off to be honest.

“I was lucky to get away with that one, though I didn’t think the first one was a yellow card so it evened itself out.

“I can’t make too many silly tackles, I have to be mindful of that. I don’t want to miss any games especially at crunch time in the group.”

It’s not all good news for Ryan Giggs’ men, though, as Aaron Ramsey faces a late test to prove his fitness. The Juventus midfielder has been struggling to recover from a thigh injury, and missed the Slovakia trip.

Defender Ethan Ampadu and striker Kieffer Moore are also doubts for clash as Wales look to beat Group E leaders Croatia.

The Dragons currently sit fourth in the group table on seven points from five games. Although they do have a game in hand over second-place Slovakia, who sit three points above in the final Euro 2020 qualification spot.

Bale, meanwhile, is hoping to beat his long-time club team-mate Luka Modric.

“Whenever we play them we always seem to lose by one goal and it is always quite a tight game,” Bale said on the Croatia captain.

“Having played together for a long time at Tottenham and Real Madrid, we know each other well.

“It would be nice to get one over him finally, as they have beaten us a few times in the past.”

The Wales and Croatia match starts at 18:00 (CET) on Sunday.

Real Madrid v Galatasaray: Santiago Bernabeu Trophy
MADRID, SPAIN – AUGUST 18: Luka Modric (L) of Real Madrid CF looks on close to his teammate Gareth Bale (R) after winning the Santiago Bernabeu Trophy match between Real Madrid CF and Galatasaray at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on August 18, 2015 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)