Real Madrid ace Gareth Bale is back among the goals ahead of crucial qualifiers for Wales

Wales have European Championship qualifiers against Cyprus and Israel

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The Independent Football

Gareth Bale returned to goalscoring form just in time for Wales’ vital European Championship qualifiers against Cyprus and Israel as Real Madrid thrashed Real Betis 5-0 at the Bernabeu on  Saturday.

Bale gave Real the lead after just the second minute, ghosting through the visitors’ defence to head in a cross from the recalled James Rodriguez at close range. He then rounded off the victory for Rafa Bentez’s side, who were held to a goalless draw by Sporting Gijon in the opening round of La Liga games, by hammering home their fifth from 25 yards.

Bale will hope to be just as deadly when Wales attempt to close in on qualification for France 2016 in Nicosia on Thursday, and then against Israel at the Cardiff City Stadium on Sunday. Chris Coleman’s side lead Group B by three points with four games to go.

Coleman is desperate for Bale not to be distracted by any late developments as the transfer window closes tomorrow. His talisman has been linked with a return to the Premier League, in particular Manchester United, and the Wales manager is concerned it could hit his squad’s preparations.

“We know the window is coming, but we do not like it as it can bring up something out of the blue,” Coleman said. “As an international manager you have to deal with it because it can have a knock-on effect, if a player is delayed joining up or has to head off somewhere.

“It is the sort of thing that is not helpful, and if it was Gareth Bale, it would  be amplified in terms of  repercussions.”