Poland would be looking make their 8th World Cup appearance and they would be led by their star striker Robert Lewandowski. Advancing to the quarterfinals of this tournament would be the main objective of this team. Ever since Adam Nawalka took over this team, he only made this team look better and better. Adam Nawalka took charge in the year 2013 when Poland were ranked 69th in the world, he has literally seen the team rise through rankings and this team will enter this World Cup at 8th position right now in the latest FIFA rankings. This Polish team has made a good run at the Euros 2016 making it to the quarterfinals and they would be looking to achieve a similar feat at Russia.
● Squad Analysis :
○ Goalkeeping :
Wojciech Szczęsny would be in front of the goal, he has spent most of the last season as an understudy to Gianluigi Buffon at Juventus but he surely has established himself as Polish No. 1 ahead of Fabianski. Now Szczęsny would be leading the line at Juventus too with the retirement of Buffon. Bartosz Białkowsk and Fabianski are some notable additions to this department.
Conceding around 16 goals in UEFA qualifiers, Poland has become the team that conceded most goals among the group winners. This shows that there is a lot of work that has to be done on this Polish defence. The defensive line would be consisting of Kamil Glik, Lukasz Piszczek, Michal Pazdan and Maciej Rybus. Kamil Glik would be the main man in this defence line although Glik would be returning from a ligament injury his presence in the defence would mean a lot to this Polish side.
● Midfield :
The Polish midfield would be occupied by the likes of Piotr Zielinski, Karol Linetty and Grzegorz Krychowiak. Grzegorz Krychowiak would be the heart of this midfield and he will look to pull the strings from the middle of the park.
Piotr Zielinski is the modern midfielder which every team would be looking to have, he has the knitting speed and tenacity across the ground with vision and technical ability to create chances in the final third. The success of this Polish side would be depending on the midfielders that make the supporting runs alongside Robert Lewandowski.
○ Forward :
Upfront Poland has the presence of Robert Lewandowski who was the top scorer in UEFA qualifiers scoring around 16 goals. There are a good set of players around him like Milik who is now back from an injury, can add something upfront. Reliant on one player as a team Lewandowski will be critical to the success of Poland and Milik has to be the guy that provides this team with a different level of quality in terms of what they can do in the final third. With all attention on Lewandowski which means that there are chances that will fall for somebody else if that somebody else is Milik he has to convert those opportunities which he didn’t do with any consistency in the Euros, he has to be that guy who picks up those free runs and he should be able to get on those spaces if he takes advantages of these opportunities then Poland will advance to the later stages of this tournament.
● Probable Team & Formation :
● Team Ratings :
• Goalkeeping: 7/10
• Defending: 6/10
• Midfield: 6/10
• Forwards: 8/10
• Overall: 6.75/10
○ Poland vs Senegal – 16:00, Tuesday 19 June
○ Poland vs Colombia – 19:00, Sunday 24 June
○ Poland vs Japan – 15:00, Thursday 28 June
● Past Record :
Poland would be making their 8th World Cup appearance this summer at Russia. Poland’s last presence at the World Cup was in the year 2006 in which they were not able to get out of the group stages. Poland’s best run at the World Cup was in the year 1986 in which they were able to reach the Round of 16 of this prestigious tournament.
● Recent Form :
Poland had a comfortable run at the UEFA qualifiers topping their group with a margin of 5 points from 2nd placed Denmark. Poland were able to make it to the quarterfinals in Euros 2016 and as this is the same bunch of players that represented them at Euros, Poland would looking achieve a similar feat at this tournament too.
● Coach’s Quote :
“We have no problem in any position. Of course, we would like all of our players to be playing regularly in strong leagues, but at this moment in time that is impossible, so I have to be a bit flexible. We have a strong spine in the team. They played well as a team. The co-operation between each formation looks better and better. The team reorganised quickly after losing the ball and were able to recover it so we could immediately create scoring opportunities.”, said the Poland gaffer.
● Writers Take:
Poland will be cautiously optimistic in this tournament and will be looking to reach at least Round of 16. They will get out of their group as they are certainly in a better position than Japan and Senegal, a lot of their players are playing in big leagues and they are good enough for that lot but not to go much further. The only way of not proceeding further is by overlooking the teams like Senegal and Japan.