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WC Qualification Europe

  • 17 October 2012
  • • 16:00
  • • Stadion Narodowy, Warszawa
  • Referee: G. Rocchi
  • • Attendance: 47000

Poland - England Preview: Hosts looking to end 39-year wait for a win over the Three Lions

After the original game was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch the teams will try again in Warsaw with Hodgson's men aiming to defend their position at the top of the the group



Piszczek, Glik, Wasilewski, Wawrzyniak
Borysiuk, Krychowiak
Mierzejewski, Obraniak, Grosicki

Johnson, Jagielka, Lescott, Cole
Milner, Carrick, Gerrard, Cleverley
Rooney, Defoe

Both Poland and England announced their teams for the original games, although Fifa will allow the teams to alter their line-ups should they wish.

Newly-appointed Poland manager Waldemar Fornalik is without national team captain Jakub Blaszczykowski, who turned his ankle on domestic duty with Borussia Dortmund.

Arsenal goalkeeping pair Wojciech Szczesny (foot) and Lukasz Fabianski (shoulder) are both injured, so Przemyslaw Tyton will start in goal.

Eugen Polanski is also a major doubt, after leaving the Polish camp on Thursday to deal with personal issues, so Grzegorz Krychowiak and Ariel Borysiuk, who started in Poland’s friendly against South Africa, are expected continue in central midfield.

Roy Hodgson, meanwhile, has confirmed he intends to stick with the same side that he named for Tuesday's game.
The England boss made six changes from the team that beat San Marino on Friday with Steven Gerrard returning to captain the side.

There are also returns for Glen Johnson, Ashley Cole and Joleon Lescott in defence while James Milner comes into the midfield and Jermain Defoe partners Wayne Rooney in attack.

  • Poland haven’t beaten England since 1973 when they recorded a 2-0 win over Sir Alf Ramsey’s side at the Silesian Stadium.
  • Waldemar Fornalik was appointed the new manager of Poland in July after the White Eagles failed to escape their group at Euro 2012. Poland haven’t qualified from their group at a major international tournament since 1986.
  • The hosts, listed 49 places below England in the Fifa rankings, are unbeaten in qualifying so far, drawing 2-2 away to Montenegro and beating Moldova 2-0 at home.
  • Skipper Jakub Blaszczykowski is Poland’s leading scorer in 2012 with four goals in nine games, but will miss the clash with England due to an ankle injury.
  • Just eight of Poland’s 23-man squad play their domestic football in Poland, whereas England’s entire squad play their domestic football in the Premier League.
  • England have only lost to Poland once in their history and are unbeaten in 39 years, winning 10 times, drawing six, scoring 27 goals and conceding just 10.
  • Steven Gerrard (pictured right) and Ashley Cole will make their 99th appearances for England, but could have to wait until 2013 to reach their centuries.
  • The Three Lions have two wins and a draw in their World Cup qualification campaign so far, scoring eleven goals to top Group H.
  • Wayne Rooney’s double against San Marino took him to fifth on the England all-time scoring charts with 31 goals, overtaking Tom Finney, Nat Lofthouse and Alan Shearer.
  • Danny Welbeck is England’s highest scorer in the Roy Hodgson era, while Jermain Defoe has struck 17 times in his last 19 starts for his country.

Players to watch

R. Lewandowski

Position: Attacker

Games: 4

  • 7
  • 1
  • 0
With Borussia Dortmund team-mate Blaszczykowski injured, the onus is on the Lewandowski to carry his team more than ever. The talismanic forward has scored as many goals for his country as the rest of Poland’s 23-man squad combined.

Lewandowski, rested in Friday’s friendly against South Africa, faces a rematch against Joe Hart, who was in sensational form against the Bundesliga title holders in the Champions League.

As a result, the Dortmund striker has been batting away criticism in his native country that he has a “Joe Hart complex”, and will need to be in top form to beat the Man City shot-stopper and profit from the few chances likely to fall his way.

P. Jagielka

Position: Defender

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The Everton centre-back has the daunting task of replacing the experienced John Terry in central defence. The 30-year old has just 15 caps compared to Terry’s 78.

Jagielka must be prepared for a far sterner test in Warsaw than he faced against San Marino, and will be responsible for marking and neutralising Poland’s danger-man Lewandowski. Worryingly, Jagielka was occasionally troubled by furniture company employee Danilo Ezequiel Rinaldi, allowing him to burst through on goal and have the minnow’s only shot of the night.

Interestingly, Jagielka was eligible to represent Poland through his Polish-born grandfather, but opted to play for the Three Lions.

Editor's Prediction

With a combative central midfield and a solid defence, Poland concede few goals and are unbeaten at home in 12 games. But with Blaszczykowski injured and Ludovic Obraniak unable to replicate his club form, there is an absence of creativity to supply Lewandowski up front. England’s new-look back-line will be confident of containing and isolating the Dortmund forward, and Manchester United duo Rooney and Welbeck should have enough quality to dispatch what few chances come their way, though they'll need to be more clinical than they were against San Marino.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head




Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Poland POL
Poland Poland
England ENG
England England

Top 3 Predictions

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1 - 3
England ENG
Poland POL
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England ENG
Poland POL
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England ENG