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China Cup Semi-final Preview: China vs Wales - Bale set to feature for Wales in China

Gareth Bale joined a Wales training session after only four hours in China after his flight touched down



Gareth Bale is expected to play some part for Wales in their China Cup opener, Ryan Giggs' first game as boss.

Wales face China in Nanning bidding to reach the final against Uruguay or the Czech Republic, who play on Friday.

Giggs is without injured Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey, who is set for a "small procedure."

Joe Ledley, Ethan Ampadu, Tom Lawrence and Neil Taylor withdrew injured from the original squad and Reading midfielder Dave Edwards has retired.

Appointed in January, former Wales and Manchester United captain Giggs had a brief spell as caretaker-manager at Old Trafford in 2014.

The 44-year-old had four games in charge of United following the sacking of David Moyes, before working as an assistant to Louis van Gaal for two seasons.

Giggs is expecting a tough test from China, coach by Marcello Lippi.

Lippi is one of only two managers to have won the Champions League and World Cup - with Juventus in 1996 and Italy in 2006 - along with Vicente del Bosque, who led Real Madrid to Champions League titles in 2000 and 2002 and Spain to the 2010 World Cup.

Giggs said: "It will be a tough game against the hosts - a China team with a great manager, who I've come across many times when he was coaching Juventus.

"It's going to be tough, not only because of the manager, but also because it's China at home. We've watched videos. They're very aggressive, they're on the front foot but they play attractive football too so with that in mind it should be an attractive game with lots of goals."

Giggs says he will evaluate fitness and club commitments as he ponders his first Wales selection.

Uncapped Brentford defender Chris Mepham could make his debut as well as Swansea defender Connor Roberts, Preston midfielder Billy Bodin - the son of ex-Wales international Paul Bodin - and Ipswich goalkeeper Michael Crowe.

Liverpool goalkeeper Danny Ward is not in the squad because his visa did not arrive in time after his passport was lost in the post.

Defender Paul Dummett asked not to be considered as he wants to focus on Newcastle's Premier League relegation battle.

"I'm not going to give you my team but it's something we need to evaluate with the players travelling and playing at the weekend," Giggs explained.

"There are a couple of players with slight knocks so it's about getting players there that are 100% fit - and picking my strongest team available in that respect.

"There'll be a lot of changing, I realise it's a big part of the season for a lot of the players so it's about getting a balance of not taking risks, but I want to win the games."

-- Courtesy of BBC Sport


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