Wales will hope to take their next step towards a World Cup appearance when they take on Austria this week.

Rob Page’s men host Austria in their World Cup Play-off semi-final on Thursday night.

Victory will set up a clash with either Ukraine or Scotland to decide who will make it to the World Cup in Qatar in November.

The final was initially due to take place next Tuesday, before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine led to a postponement of Ukraine’s fixtures.

Wales team news World Cup play-off

Wales are hopeful Gareth Bale will be fit for their World Cup play-off with Austria.

Bale was omitted from Real Madrid’s 23-man El Clasico matchday squad against Barcelona on Sunday, with reports in Spain saying the Wales captain was absent due to back pain.

South Wales Argus: (PA)(PA)

But Bale has joined up with the Wales camp ahead of the play-off semi-final against Austria – and the Dragons expect the 100-times capped forward will make Thursday’s clash at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Aaron Ramsey has also joined up with Robert Page’s squad after making his first Scottish Premiership start for Rangers since his January loan move from Juventus.

Ramsey’s lack of match fitness had seen him restricted to a couple of starts in the Scottish Cup and three other appearances from the bench.

South Wales Argus: (PA)(PA)

But he played 84 minutes against Dundee on Sunday and scored his first Rangers goal in a 2-1 victory.

Austria team news for Wales World Cup play-off

Austria boss Franco Foda has had to make four changes to his squad, with defenders Christopher Trimmel and Philipp Lienhart and midfielders Florian Grillitsch and Dejan Ljubicic dropping out.

Bristol City’s Andreas Weimann returns to the Austria squad for the first time for seven years, with Lens’ former Southampton defender Kevin Danso, Stefan Ilsanker and Alessandro Schopf also called up.

How to watch Wales v Austria

Wales will host Austria at the Cardiff City Stadium on Thursday, March 24.

The game will kick off at 7.45pm as Rob Page’s men look to take the next step on their march to a first World Cup appearance since 1958.

You can watch the game live on S4C or on Sky Sports.