Ash forced to sit out Serbia clash
ASHLEY Williams will miss Wales's home match against Serbia tomorrow (7.45) through suspension, with Aaron Ramsey and Craig Bellamy the leading contenders to captain their country.
The Swansea City centre-back was booked in Friday's disappointing defeat to Macedonia so serves a one-match ban.
And Chris Coleman has other selection problems to contend with ahead of a match key to Welsh hopes of finishing third in Group A.
Sam Ricketts is also a doubt for Serbia's visit to the Cardiff City Stadium, while Jonathan Williams is definitely sidelined after both sustained injuries in Skopje.
Gareth Bale, the world's most expensive player, was an unused substitute three days ago and may not feature again as he struggles to overcome a foot injury.
"We're thin on the ground going into Serbia, which is not great," said Coleman.
"Sam Ricketts is limping heavily and Jonny got a boot on his foot and he's on crutches, so that's not great either.
"Ash had a yellow card, which will leave him out. We're already without Joe Allen (hamstring) plus Gareth is not going to be able to start.
"We are thin on the ground but the game's there, we've got to approach it and try to get something out of it."
Serbia drew with Croatia on Friday night, while Scotland were beaten by Belgium.
Those results mean only Gordon Strachan's side keep Wales off the bottom of their World Cup qualification pool.
Though hope of reaching next summer's finals in Brazil evaporated some time ago, Coleman is targeting the third- place finish that would improve his side's seeding ahead of the Euro 2016 qualification group draw.
Another defeat tomorrow would be a hammer blow to that ambition.
Wales trail Serbia in third by two points, having played a game fewer. A loss would make that gap five, meaning Coleman's side would have to win both their remaining matches, a home clash with Macedonia and a trip to unbeaten leaders Belgium.
Reading's Hal Robson-Kanu, who missed the defeat in Skopje through suspension, is available for tomorrow's game when Wales face a side who hammered them 6-1 last year.
Crystal Palace's Danny Gabbidon is likely to come in for Ashley Williams, while Wales might be called into a defensive reshuffle involving a full-back playing out of position if Ricketts fails to pull through.
Another option would be to call-up West Ham centre-back James Collins, who was left out of the original squad.
Leicester midfielder Andy King or Andrew Crofts of Brighton are front runners to replace Jonathan Williams.
Fans were left frustrated as star man Bale remained on the bench against Macedonia, who clinched three points when Aleksander Trajkovski struck a late winner.
And Coleman revealed the Real Madrid winger may again be left out.
"He's never going to be ready to start, it's as simple as that," said the Wales boss. "The fact he's turned up and is trying to be fit for us is such a huge positive and if he's ready then he may play a part."