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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Oct, 14, 2008

Bale faces late fitness test for Wales

Gareth Bale is Wales' only injury doubt for Wednesday's World Cup qualifier in Germany after defender James Collins insisted he is able to play in the Group Four match.

Tottenham Hotspur defender Bale picked up an ankle knock in Saturday's 2-0 victory over Liechtenstein in Cardiff and will be monitored ahead of the clash in Moenchengladbach's Borussia stadium.

But Collins seems likely to start his first Wales match in a year after a cruciate knee injury.

His last start for the principality was the 0-0 draw with Germany in Frankfurt last November but he now believes he is capable of helping Wales to at least a repeat of that impressive Euro 2008 qualifying result.

Collins, who won his 25th cap on Saturday as a late substitute, said: "It is not a gamble to play me against Germany despite the time I have been out.

"I have been training at West Ham now for two months and played a few reserve games.

"I had the operation and pretty much three weeks after that I was working. It has paid off because I am slimmer, fitter and stronger than ever.

"If I am not ready to play now I will never be. I am fit enough to play, whatever way the manager wants to go."

He added: "West Ham knew I was coming away to play games, so fingers crossed I do.

"I need as many games as possible now after being out for almost a year.

"It is a tough game for us here but hopefully if I do play I will be able to make a real contribution.

"It was nice to get on the pitch on Saturday and put on that red shirt again, and now I am looking forward to playing in Germany.

"It is a tough game but hopefully we will get a good result and stay up there in the group."

Wales boss John Toshack goes into his 39th match in control with 12 months left on his five-year contract.

Although no talks have as yet taken place between Toshack and the FA of Wales over an extension, it is believed they would be happy to agree a new two--year deal from next summer that would take Toshack to the end of the Euro 2010 qualifiers.

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