Poland World Cup Preview
With the World Cup quickly approaching, ETT looks at Poland’s chances in the tournament. Currently ranked 6th on the FIFA World Rankings, Poland have quietly affirmed themselves as a global powerhouse, and gaining a favourable seed prior to the draw has further assured that the Biało-czerwoni could well make a deep run with an overall solid squad headlined by Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski.
The One to Eleven:
Over the qualifying period, Poland had a few different looks in terms of personnel and formation adjustments. But, Poland will be expected to revert to a 4-2-3-1 which can best utilize the creativity of Napoli ace, Piotr Zielinski. Next to Zielinski is one man for certain, Hull City’s Kamil Grosicki. While not as young, Grosicki still can provide pace and service to captain, Robert Lewandowski.
At the back, Poland is made up of true veterans. In fact, during the qualifiers, Poland’s backline consisted of only defenders over 30 years old. This could prove a blessing or curse, as experience will bode well but also sacrifice much-needed athleticism against the likes of Senegal, a young and fast team that could cause trouble for Poland’s defense.
Overall, whatever team is put out will have a good variety of experience and youth that should prove vital in the hunt for the next round.
Poland undoubtedly have a very strong bench mostly made up of veterans, with some exciting talent like Zielinski’s teammate, Arek Milik. Drawing comparisons to Lewandowski, Zielinski will have a huge role coming off the bench if they go with a one-man line at the top.
Another important figure will be Jakub Błaszczykowski. The Wolfsburg man has not seen much game time at the German outfit, but he is a lock for Russia solely on the experience and versatilely he brings.
Adam Nawalka is a former player whose career was cut off short by injuries. Having featured 90 minutes in all but one of Poland’s games in the 1978 FIFA World Cup at the age of 19, Nawalka had a promising start but unfortunately retired just six years later.
Despite this, Nawalka received his credentials and went on to manage eight club sides between the years of 1996-2013. In late 2013 he took over the Polish National team. One of Poland’s most memorable wins came under him, a 2-0 win against Germany in Euro qualifying. In 45 games with the Poles, he has recorded 24 wins, 14 draws, and 7 losses.
Style of Play:
At the Euros, Nawalka introduced a new style Poland and proved that they are no longer just a counter-attacking team, a previous stereotype. With an emphasis on high and low pressing, Poland can be a nightmare for any team trying to move the ball around.
Poland like to have the ball and build up from the back. Eventually getting the ball into the wide areas for an onslaught of balls to be whipped in from either winger up the pitch, or either of the advancing full-backs.
This style of fast and direct play proved effective against some of Europe’s best and with the talent there, they could well shred through Group H
With a group consisting of Senegal, Japan, and Columbia, Adam Nawalka and company will make it out and make a deep run to the quarterfinals where they will be knocked out in the semi-finals.
Leave a comment below as to how you think Poland will do in Russia this summer. Come back tomorrow where we will take a closer look at how Spain may fair in the World Cup.
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