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Football | World Cup 2014

'Bale won't start against Serbia'

Real Madrid's new record signing Gareth Bale will again be missing from the starting line-up when Wales entertain Serbia in a World Cup Group A qualifier on Tuesday.

The winger, who left Tottenham Hotspur for a world record transfer fee of €100 million earlier this month, was an unused substitute when his country lost 2-1 in Macedonia on Friday.

He has not played since July and Wales manager Chris Coleman said Bale was simply lacking in match fitness.

"With him not playing any games he's not going to start on Tuesday and he never was," Coleman told Sky Sports on Monday.

"When you've had three to four training sessions in six to eight weeks, as good as he is you can't be risking players."

Coleman said Bale could be on the bench against Serbia if nothing untoward showed up on a precautionary scan the winger was due to have on Monday on a slight groin strain.

"He needs to know and be sure that there's nothing there," said the Wales manager.

"If it's good news and he can play some part, of course he will, but ultimately the player says if he can or if he can't."

Neither Wales nor Serbia have any chance of qualifying for next year's World Cup finals in Brazil.


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