Bales starts on bench: Watch Macedonia vs Wales Live on

(Sporting Alert) — Gareth Bale starts on the bench for Wales today in their 2014 FIFA World Cup European Group A qualifier against Macedonia at the Philip II Arena in Skopje.

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The Real Madrid summer signing has not been active in preseason this summer and manager Chris Coleman has opted to call on him from the bench, rather than risk him from the start.

Bale became the world’s most expensive player this summer when he left the English Premier League and Tottenham to link up with Cristiano Ronaldo in the Spanish La Liga.

With hopes of making the World Cup almost over, Coleman has also decided to play the waiting game with the winger.

Meanwhile, defender Sam Ricketts will make his 50th appearance for Wales when he starts alongside Swansea City’s Ashley Williams in defence.

Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen remains on the sideline because of an injury, so David Vaughan comes in as his replacement to play alongside Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey.

Cardiff striker Craig Bellamy will be the lone man upfront for the visitors.