Gareth Bale Wales
Gareth Bale limbers up during a training session for Wales, June 10, 2016Reuters

Gareth Bale will be the focus when Wales play Slovakia in their Euro 2016 opening match on Saturday. Much has been made about Wales finally making it to a major tournament -- this is their first European Championship finals appearance and first major tournament appearance in 58 years – and how they cope with that pressure on the big stage will be the question they need to answer.

This match in Bordeaux is expected to be all about the two star players of their respective teams –Bale for Wales and Marek Hamsik for Slovakia. These two are the major reasons behind their teams' appearance in this Euro 2016, and both Bale and Hamsik will again be key to how far Wales and Slovakia go in this tournament.

Put in a difficult Group B with Russia and England the other two teams, Wales and Slovakia will know the importance of getting off to a great start.

After a gruelling season with Real Madrid, in which there were plenty of niggly injuries, there are a couple of question marks over Bale's fitness, but the player has declared himself 100% fit, and the coach Chris Coleman will certainly hope that is the case.

Even a Bale at 90%, though, is worth its weight in gold for Wales, who will also want Aaron Ramsey to step up from the shadows of his compatriot and really grab this tournament by the scruff of the neck.

Ramsey can polarise opinion, but when he is on his game, there are very few central midfielders in the sport that can keep up with him.

Coleman also had high praise for Joe Ledley, who has made a miraculous recovery from a broken leg to be fit enough to "play some part" in this Euro 2016 fixture against Slovakia, even if he is not expected to feature in the starting XI for Wales.

"For Joe Ledley to get where he is fitness-wise is fantastic," Coleman was quoted as saying by UEFA's official website. "He's ready to play some part. Physically and mentally he's shown what he's made of and that's credit to him."

Slovakia are sweating on the fitness of defender Thomas Hubocan, who the coach Jan Kozak revealed will undergo a late fitness test.

"In terms of the lineup, I have just one question, by which I mean defender Tomas Hubocan," Kozak, who will hope Liverpool's Martin Skrtel can keep Bale quiet, said. "We will see after training if he will be ready." If Hubocan does not make it in time, Dusan Svento is likely to take his place in the starting XI.

Expected starting XI: Wales: Gunter, Hennessey; Chester, Williams, Davies, Taylor; Ramsey, Allen, King; Bale; Robson-Kanu.

Slovakia: Kozacik; Pekarik, Skrtel, Durica, Hubocan; Hrosovsky, Kucka; Duda, Hamsík, Weiss; Duris.

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