Netherlands host Wales later this evening, Wednesday, at the Amsterdam Arena in their final preparatory international friendly ahead of the FIFA World Cup tournament in Brazil, next month and, while the game was organised by Louis van Gaal, the manager has expressed disappointment that the match will not feature key dragons - Arsenal box-to-box sensation Aaron Ramsey and Real Madrid's record signing Gareth Bale.
Former Tottenham Hotspur forward Bale, who has been dubbed The Cannon by the Spanish press, justified his £86 million price-tag last summer by scoring crucial goals for Los Blancos including the Copa del Rey winner against Barcelona and the vital second in Real's come-from-behind extra time victory over Atletico Madrid.
In his debut season in Spain, Bale returned 22 goals from 44 appearances in all competitions, however, he will be absent from Chris Coleman's Wales selection against the Dutch because he withdraw due to a leg injury.
Ramsey, meanwhile, has come of age at Arsenal in the past season. Had he not suffered injury mid-way through the campaign, he may very well have been rivalling Manchester City talisman Yaya Toure for the status of the Premier League's most effective midfield master. Like Bale, though, Ramsey will not feature at the Amsterdam Arena as he is being rested due to his FA Cup final appearance.
"I have said to my board that they had to insist on playing against Bale and Ramsey but this can happen in football," lamented van Gaal on ITV, who added that he was not sure whether it was down to injury or to holidays, but fully understood either situation due to how "impressive" Bale had been throughout the season with Real Madrid.
"Wales without these players are weaker," van Gaal added. "With Bale and Ramsey it is always better."
Coleman commented: "If we are missing Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey, we just have to get on with it as we have a job to do. We are up against a world-class team and that is how it is."