Bale named in Wales squad
By Football News
Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale has been named in Wales' 23-man squad for the friendly encounter with Finland next week.
The 24-year-old returns to the international set-up after being forced to withdraw from Chris Coleman's squad for the FIFA World Cup qualifying fixtures with Macedonia and Belgium in October due to a thigh problem.
After struggling for fitness since his world record €100million move from Tottenham to Real in the close-season, Bale has begun to rediscover his form of late, including scoring the second goal in the Spanish giants' 2-2 UEFA Champions League draw with Juventus in midweek.
The winger is joined in the squad by in-form Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey, whose superb run in front of goal continued in his club's 1-0 victory at Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.
Ramsey has already contributed six goals and three assists in his last seven Premier League appearances for Arsenal this season and will be hoping to transfer that form to the national team.
West Ham centre-back James Collins is once again included, having returned to the international set-up after settling a dispute with Coleman.
Wales were hindered by a string of withdrawals ahead of their concluding World Cup qualifiers, and they will be boosted by returns for the likes of Liverpool's Joe Allen, Celtic's Joe Ledley and Ben Davies of Swansea City.
Millwall striker Jermaine Easter and Doncaster Rovers midfielder David Cotterill retain their places after being drafted in to cover for injuries last time out.
The fixture marks the first time that Wales will be without Cardiff City forward Craig Bellamy, who retired after the end of the World Cup qualifying campaign.
Coleman - whose future as Wales boss continues to be shrouded in doubt amid links to Premier League outfit Crystal Palace - will be looking for a strong showing at the Cardiff City Stadium following a disappointing fifth-place finish in qualifying Group A.
Squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Wayne Hennessey (Wolves), Boaz Myhill (West Brom), Owain Fon Williams (Tranmere Rovers).
Defenders: James Collins (West Ham), Ben Davies (Swansea City), Chris Gunter (Reading), Sam Ricketts (Wolves), Neil Taylor (Swansea City), Rhoys Wiggins (Charlton Athletic), Ashley Williams (Swansea City).
Midfielders: Joe Allen (Liverpool), David Cotterill (Doncaster Rovers), Andrew Crofts (Brighton and Hove Albion), Andy King (Leicester City) , Joe Ledley (Celtic), Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal), David Vaughan (Sunderland).
Forwards: Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Simon Church (Charlton Athletic), Jermaine Easter (Millwall), Hal Robson-Kanu (Reading), Sam Vokes (Burnley).