Saturday, October 9, 2010

Depleted Wales suffer Ledley blow

Euro 2012 qualifier: Switzerland v Wales
Venue: St Jakob Park, Basel Date: Tuesday, 12 October Kick-off: 1930 BST Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru and online, live text commentary on BBC Sport website and score updates on BBC Radio 5 Live

Joe Ledley
Joe Ledley has won 35 Wales caps since his debut versus Poland in 2005

Joe Ledley has added to caretaker coach Brian Flynn's selection problems by withdrawing from Wales' Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland in Basel.

The Celtic midfielder has withdrawn because his partner Ruby is expecting their first child on Tuesday.

Flynn is also without strikers Craig Bellamy, Rob Earnshaw and Sam Vokes while long-term absentees Aaron Ramsey and Jack Collison are also out.

Now defensive duo Chris Gunter and Sam Ricketts will miss due to suspension.

Nottingham Forest right-back Gunter was sent-off in injury time - for after a straight red card for taking out Dimitar Rangelov - as Wales suffered their second successive European Championship qualifying defeat with a 1-0 loss against Bulgaria in Cardiff.

So he and Bolton Wanderers defender Ricketts will be banned for Tuesday's trip to Switzerland - as experienced Ricketts picked up his second booking this campaign - as Flynn will be forced into a defensive reshuffle.

Cardiff City's Darcy Blake is in line for his senior international debut in Basel as Flynn needs defensive cover while captain Ashley Williams, who played as a holding midfielder in the defeat to Bulgaria, could be switched to his more accustomed centre-back position.

Leicester City's Andy King is set to come in for Williams in the centre of midfield.

He may be joined by Swansea City's Shaun MacDonald, who is currently on loan at Yeovil Town and played in their 1-0 win over Rochdale on Saturday, as the young midfielder has been called-up by Wales as Flynn seeks urgent reinforcements.

Young striker Hal Robson-Kanu has also withdrawn due to a hamstring problem so Flynn has given late calls to Bournemouth defender Rhoys Wiggins and Swansea midfielder Jazz Richards.

The St Jakob Park showdown a clash between Group G's pointless bottom-placed sides - and Wales have never won in three previous visits to Switzerland.

Wales' visit to Switzerland is Flynn's final game in caretaker charge as the Football Association of Wales will appoint a full-time successor to John Toshack before their next qualifier with rivals England on 26 March.

But captain Williams feels Wales Flynn a good performance next week after letting him down against Bulgaria.

"We have worked well all week and I wouldn't like to say we just let him down," said the Swans defender.

"We have probably let ourselves and everyone involved down, not just him.

"We would have liked to have got a win for him to repay him for the week we've had. We've thoroughly enjoyed it.

"We have got to try to get three points in Switzerland and then see where we are."

Switzerland, who starred at the 2010 World Cup, have lost to England and Montenegro and now hope to secure their first points of the campaign in their first match against Wales for 11 years.

Switzerland and Wales are two of 11 sides that have failed to register a point in qualifying for the finals in Poland and Ukraine alongside Faroe Islands, San Marino, Azerbaijan, Andorra and Liechtenstein.

Wales squad for Euro 2012 qualifier in Switzerland on 12 October:
Bond (Watford), Cornell (Swansea City), Hennessey (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Myhill (West Bromwich Albion); D Collins (Stoke City), J Collins (Aston Villa), Ribeiro (Bristol City), Williams (Swansea City), Matthews (Cardiff City), Taylor (Swansea City), Blake (Cardiff City), Wiggins (AFC Bournemouth); Allen (Swansea City), Bale (Tottenham Hotspur), Edwards (Wolves), King (Leicester), Richards (Swansea City), MacDonald (Swansea City), Vaughan (Blackpool), Church (Reading), Doble (Southampton), Evans (Sheffield United), Morison (Millwall)

Potenshöjande medel - potenshöjande medel

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