Coleman’s Galactico not among Wales Euro 2016 training squad
Chris Coleman and the Welsh Football Association have just announced their 29-man training squad for Euro 2016 and Gareth Bale’s name is nowhere to be seen.
Fortunately for fans of the land of song, the Cardiff-born galactico’s absence is due to his Champions League commitments with Real Madrid rather than injury.
Bale had missed Los Blancos’ 3-2 weekend win over Valencia with a minor knee strain, but that ailment is unlikely to keep him out of the repeat of the 2013/4 final, which saw Real beat Atletico Madrid 4-1 after extra time.
He is rated a 50/1-shot to be Euro 2016 top goalscorer.
The decision to overlook the former Tottenham forward for the pre-tournament get-together in Portugal is not a kindness that has been extended to Walsall and their 20-goal hitman and Wales call-up-beneficiary Tom Bradshaw.
Having finished the regular season one point off automatic promotion in League One, the Saddlers will be aiming to book their place in the play-off final a day after the Champions League decider, on May 29.
Bristol City’s 21-year-old forward Wes Burns, who has been on loan at Fleetwood since February, is the enlarged squad’s clear wildcard selection.
Burns struck five times in 14 games for Town to help steer them clear of relegation to the third tier and has bagged in 16 outings for the Welsh Under-21 side.
Coleman’s Premier League contingent Wayne Hennessey, Danny Ward, Ashley Williams, James Chester, Ben Davies, James Collins, Neil Taylor, Paul Dummett, Ashley (Jazz) Richards, Joe Ledley, Joe Allen, David Vaughan, Aaron Ramsey and Andy King are all present and correct among the 29-player delegation.
However, recent call-ups Shaun MacDonald, Andrew Crofts and Lloyd Isgrove have all been overlooked.
Wales are 4/6 third-favourites to qualify from a Group B quartet that also features England, Russia and Slovakia.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.