By DAN KARELL
Gareth Bale will finally have a chance to gain some fitness away from the week-to-week grind in La Liga and the UEFA Champions League.
The world-record Real Madrid signing was ruled out with another thigh injury for Wednesday’s Champions League match against FC Copenhagen (and this Saturday’s La Liga match against Levante) and even though he was included in Chris Coleman’s Wales squad for two World Cup qualifiers this month, Coleman conceded that Bale won’t join up with the squad due to the injury.
The 24-year-old will now have at least 15 days to recover from the thigh problem as well as gain some fitness that he wasn’t able to acquire during his long-running transfer saga that kept him off the training pitch with Tottenham.
Bale is expected to recover and return to the Madrid starting XI by October 19, a home match against Malaga.
Here are some more stories to start your Thursday:
MEXICO LOSE MORENO TO INJURY
Victor Manuel Vucetich’s quest of guiding Mexico into a World Cup berth just became much harder.
The new Mexico boss Vucetich learned on Wednesday that starting centerback Hector Moreno suffered a right hamstring injury with his club Espanyol in La Liga, leaving the team without it’s first and second-choice centerbacks. Vucetich left off youngsters Diego Reyes due to a lack of form at his new club Porto.
In the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, Moreno has started every game for El Tri in central defense. The 25-year-old with 49 caps to his name will certainly be missed by the Mexico squad. Moreno’s injury leaves open the possibility of Rafa Marquez earning a full recall to the Mexico National Team squad.
ROBBEN SAYS BEATING MAN CITY WAS “EASY”
Former Chelsea winger and current Bayern Munich star Arjen Robben has talked of his delight with Bayern’s strong 3-1 victory on the road against Manchester City on Wednesday.
The German club executed their game plan to perfection against the 2011/2012 Premier League champions, and took advantage of acres of space as Manuel Pellegrini’s side continued their poor play in the Champions League against other top European sides.
“We were so dominant against a big team in Europe,” Robben told BBC Sport. “We didn’t expect an easy game like that. It is a compliment to our team but we expected more from City.
“We didn’t give them any space, we pressed them right up to the goalkeeper and they just kicked it away. Sometimes they gave us too much space and we use space well. City weren’t as organized defensively as we had expected but there were some attacks of ours that simply were fantastically executed. When things go your way like that, it’s a lot of fun out on the pitch, especially against a quality team like (Man) City.”
KLOPP HAS TOUCHLINE BAN EXTENDED
After serving a suspension during Borussia Dortmund’s 3-0 victory over Marseille at home, Borussia Dortmund learned that manager Jurgen Klopp’s suspension has been extended one more game.
UEFA originally banned the German club manager after his wild outburst at the officials following Napoli’s first goal in a 2-1 victory over last year’s Champions League runner-ups, but with the extra game tacked on to the suspension, Klopp will be unavailable for a massive fixture at the Emirates Stadium against Arsenal.
Dortmund have announced in a brief statement on their website that they can appeal the decision and that they are considering their options.
PSG defender Marquinhos has declared his interest in representing the Portuguese National Team, saying that he has dual citizenship between Portugal and his native Brazil. (REPORT)
Everton manager Roberto Martinez unveiled the club’s new crest after 78 percent of fans online voted in favor of it. (REPORT)
Loic Remy, Mamadou Sakho, and Raphael Varane have all been included in the France squad for two matches, a friendly against Australia and a World Cup qualifier against Finland. (REPORT)
Lazio captain Stefano Mauri has been banned for nine months after failing to report match-fixing. (REPORT)
Both the Peruvian and Ukrainian FAs have had appeals against stadium bans accepted by FIFA and will be discussed at a future date, leaving their next home matches open for fans to attend. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Do you see Bale finding full fitness in these next two weeks? How big of a loss is Moreno to the Mexico squad? Do you agree with Robben’s statements?
Share your thoughts below.