Aaron Ramsey and Brennan Johnson out of Wales’ crunch qualifier with Croatia

By Sports Desk October 04, 2023

Wales captain Aaron Ramsey and Brennan Johnson will miss next week’s vital Euro 2024 qualifier against Croatia.

Both players have been omitted from Rob Page’s squad for their friendly against Gibraltar on October 11 and Group D qualifier at Cardiff City Stadium on October 15.

Ramsey damaged his right knee in training last month and there are fears the 32-year-old midfielder may need surgery after missing Cardiff’s last five games.

Tottenham midfielder Johnson sustained a hamstring injury in his side’s recent 2-2 draw at Arsenal and sat out Saturday’s win against Liverpool.

The pair’s absence is a huge blow to under-pressure Page, whose side sit fourth in their group after winning only two of their first five matches.

Johnson had been expected to be included after Spurs boss Ange Postecoglou said before the Liverpool game that his injury was “nothing too serious”.

Wales are also without QPR defender Morgan Fox and Rangers winger Rabbi Matondo (both knee), while Reading midfielder Charlie Savage and Liverpool defender Owen Beck have received their first senior team call-ups.

Leeds winger Daniel James returns to the squad after missing last month’s Euro 2024 qualifying victory in Latvia.

Bournemouth striker Kieffer Moore is available for the Croatia game after missing the last two Euro qualifiers due to the red card he received against Armenia in June.

Page eased some of the pressure on him last month with Wales’ 2-0 victory in Latvia.

But his side still face an uphill battle to secure automatic qualification for next summer’s finals in Germany through a top-two finish.

Wales realistically need to avoid defeat against 2022 World Cup semi-finalists Croatia and win their final two games in Armenia and at home to Turkey in November to do so.

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