Wales fail to fill 55-player provisional World Cup squad – with Gareth Bale set to lead nation despite injuries

Wales fail to fill 55-player provisional World Cup squad – with Gareth Bale set to lead nation despite injuries

WALES have not filled their full allocation of 55 players for their provisional World Cup squad.

Unlike Group B rivals England, Robert Page’s Dragons opted to name 40-odd players on their preliminary list for Qatar.

Bale will lead Wales into the World Cup
Bale will lead Wales into the World CupCredit: Getty
Page has selected 40-odd players instead of 55 for the provisional squad
Page has selected 40-odd players instead of 55 for the provisional squadCredit: Reuters

The first draft of names are given to Fifa for logistical reasons ahead of the tournament.

Page will name his final 26-man squad in his hometown of Tylorstown in the Rhondda valley next Wednesday night with few surprises expected.

Captain Gareth Bale will lead Wales with stars Aaron Ramsey and Joe Allen also included despite recent injuries as Page remains loyal to his long-serving stalwarts.

Wales, who have used 30 players during 2022, do not plan to release their provisional list – just like Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions.

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The Dragons – making their first finals appearance since 1958 – are similar to European rivals Holland, 2018 finalists Croatia and Poland, who also did not use their full allocation.

Luka Modric leads 34 Croatian players while Virgil van Dijk spearheads a 39-player Dutch party and Poland also picked 47 players.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal and Uruguay, featuring Luis Suarez, Rodrigo Bentancur and Edinson Cavani, have gone for full allocations.

The 32 competing nations have different plans in naming their squads.

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Japan were the first country to finalise their 26-man World Cup squad on Tuesday.

Fifa have set a deadline of November 14 for nations to submit their final squads.

England boss Southgate will announce his squad four days prior.

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Philip Cadden

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