Toshack fearful for World Cup hopes

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The Independent Football

John Toshack fears his World Cup plans will be wrecked by long-term injury of four of his best players. The Wales coach will send out an experimental side here tonight for a friendly that will give him the chance to run the rule over fringe players.

Craig Bellamy, Danny Gabbidon, James Collins, and Gareth Bale are all concerning him. Collins is not expected back until October after a knee operation, Bellamy is fighting for fitness after a groin operation, Gabbidon has a long-term groin issue and Bale a long-term ankle injury.

"We have spent three years working on a defensive plan and it is worrying and disappointing that we are without them," Toshack said. "Any international team would miss four players of that quality, but for us it really is a major blow."

The Hull goalkeeper Boaz Myhill and Stockport defender Ashley Williams are expected to make their Wales debuts.

Provisional team: Myhill (Hull), Eardley (Oldham), Nyatanga (Barnsley), A Williams (Stockport), Morgan (Peterborough), Ricketts (Hull), Fletcher (Crystal Palace), Koumas (Wigan), S Davies (Fulham), Eastwood (Wolves), Easter (Plymouth). Substitutes: Price (Derby), Duffy (Portsmouth), S Roberts (Doncaster), Stock (Doncaster), Tudur-Jones (Swansea), Cotterill (Sheff Utd), Nardiello (Barnsley).