Begovic: Bosnia must stop Bale ‘at all costs’

Date published: Saturday 10th October 2015 12:53

Gareth Bale: Will face Bosnia's aggression

Gareth Bale: Will face Bosnia's aggression

Asmir Begovic insists Bosnia-Herzegovina must be aggressive to stop Gareth Bale in their Euro 2016 qualifier.

Wales manager Chris Coleman confirmed Bale will start in Zenica on Saturday night after completing his recovery from a calf injury which has restricted him to only 24 minutes for Real Madrid in the last three weeks.

Coleman’s side need only a point to reach the European Championship next summer and end a 58-year wait to play at a major tournament.

Bosnia are out of the race for a top-two spot and automatic qualification but they still have a chance of edging out Israel for third place in Group B and reaching next month’s Euro 2016 play-offs.

“I know how good Bale is as I have played against him in England,” said Bosnia’s Chelsea goalkeeper Begovic.

“We have to give everything. We need to be positive, play smart and act aggressively against Bale. It goes without saying.

“That is not to be malicious, but you have to be aggressive against a player like him.

“If you give him space to operate then he causes you all kinds of trouble. We have to by all costs try to avoid that.

“That’s what I mean by aggressive. We’re not a dirty team, but we have to play to our strengths and give him as little time as possible on the ball to work his magic.”

Dzeko doubt

Bosnia coach Mehmed Bazdarevic admits he does not know whether his star man Edin Dzeko will be available to play.

Roma’s former Manchester City striker injured his calf two weeks ago and trained with the Bosnia squad on Friday, but a final decision will be taken on him just before kick-off.

“We did all in our power to have him with us, he has been training and we will see if he is ready to play on Saturday,” said Bazdarevic, who is definitely without the suspended Everton midfielder Muhamed Besic.

“We all know how important Dzeko is, as a human being as well as he is a good footballer, but will we see.

“We are talking about the rest of the team and we have to be ready for the game.

“We have to wait for another training session to see where we really are, do our best to have the best team on the pitch.”

With Bosnia in desperate need of three points, Wales hope springing Bale on the break could be the pathway to victory.

“We have studied them and we are ready to respond, but we are talking about a very disciplined team and very good individuals,” Bazdarevic said.

“We will do our best but we can not be tricked into the type of transformations that they play.

“There is big pressure on us but it is good. We are not worried at all and we are looking for success.”

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