Poland - England Preview: Hosts looking to end 39-year wait for a win over the Three Lions
Roy Hodgson’s men travel to Warsaw hoping to defend their position at the top of Group H, but the White Eagles will pose a far sterner test than San Marino
By Ewan Roberts
Piszczek, Glik, Wasilewski, Wawrzyniak
Mierzejewski, Obraniak, Grosicki
Johnson, Jagielka, Lescott, Cole
Milner, Rooney, Oxlade-Chamberlain
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 is expected to 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, should continue in central midfield.
Skipper Steven Gerrard and Glen Johnson will be available for selection again after serving their suspensions. Joleon Lescott, James Milner and Jermain Defoe, all rested against San Marino because they were a yellow card away from a one-match ban, could also return.
Theo Walcott (chest/rib) was forced to withdraw from the England squad after he was poleaxed by San Marino goalkeeper Aldo Simoncini.
Chelsea duo Frank Lampard (calf) and Ryan Bertrand (illness) have not recovered in time to travel to Warsaw, but Ashley Cole could return to the side.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- 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 should they feature, 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.
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Top 3 Predictions
Poland 1-3 England
- 14.56 %
Poland 1-2 England
- 12.68 %
Poland 0-2 England
- 10.74 %
|World Cup Qualifying - UEFA (WCQ)||Oct 15, 2013||England 2 - Poland 0|
|World Cup Qualifying - UEFA (WCQ)||Oct 17, 2012||Poland 1 - England 1|
|Mar 5, 2014||Poland 0 - Scotland 1||FR|
|Jan 20, 2014||Moldova 0 - Poland 1||FR|
|Jan 18, 2014||Poland 3 - Norway 0||FR|
|Nov 19, 2013||Poland 0 - Ireland 0||FR|
|Nov 15, 2013||Poland 0 - Slovakia 2||FR|
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed