Poland and Nigeria go head-to-head on Friday evening as the two nations prepare for the 2018 Russia World Cup.
Adam Nawałka’s side will have home advantage with the game taking place at Municipal Stadium Wroclaw but the Super Eagles will be buoyed by their 4-2 victory over Lionel Messi's Argentina in their most recent friendly.
The result will hold little meaning on Friday evening but provides both sides a platform to test themselves just months away from the World Cup finals.
|Game||Poland vs Nigeria|
|Date||Friday, March 23|
|Stream (U.S. only)||fuboTV (7-day free trial)|
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Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Fabianski, Szczesny, Skorupski, Bialkowski|
|Defenders||Piszczek, Glik, Rybus, Jedrzejczyk, Pazdan, Cionek, Bereszynski, Kaminski, Kedziora, Jaroszynski|
|Midfielders||Grosicki, Krychowiak, Peszko, Maczynski, Zielinski, Linetty, Goralski, Kurzawa, Frankowski, Kadzior, Romanczuk|
|Forwards||Lewandowski, Milik, Teodorczyk, Swierczok, Kownacki|
Poland played with a three-man defence last time out against Mexico and goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny is hoping to continue with the same set-up on Friday, saying: "Looking at the training we’ve had so far and last matches of the team you can actually see that we are improving tactically."
Like Nigeria, Poland will use Friday's outing to determine their strongest XI ahead of the Russia World Cup in June, though Robert Lewandowski's place at the head of the team is safe.
Potential Poland XI: Szczesny; Kędziora, Cionek, Glik, Pazdan, Rybus; Maczynski, Krychowiak, Grosiki, Zielinski; Lewandowski
|Goalkeepers||Uzoho, Ezenwa, Akpeyi|
|Defenders||Omeruo, Echiejile, Eze, Shehu, Awaziem, Ebuehi, Idowu, Balogun, Troost-Ekong|
|Midfielders||Obi, Ogu, Onazi, Agbo, Ndidi, Moses, Etebo, Mikel|
|Forwards||Musa, Simon, Ighalo, Iheanacho, Iwobi, Ajayi|
Ikechukwu Ezenwa appears to have claimed the No.1 spot ahead of Francis Uzoho in the Nigeria goal and is set to continue between the sticks on Friday.
Egypt–based Junior Ajayi was unable to secure visa into Poland but will fly directly to London ahead of Tuesday’s fixture with Serbia.
Potential Nigeria XI: Ezenwa; Shehu, Troost-Ekong, Balogun, Aina; Ndidi, Ogu, Moses, Musa, Iwobi; Iheanacho
Betting & Match Odds
Poland are strong favourites with dabblebet to win the tie at 17/20.
Nigeria stand at 3/1 to claim a victory, with the draw 12/5.
Nigeria boss Gernot Rohr is keen to get the game underway as to blow the rust from his players, who have not appeared for the national team since November's win over Argentina.
The Super Eagles will play Serbia just days after their trip to Poland and are likely to field an experimental XI at The Hive, though Rohr is keen to deploy his strongest side on Friday.
"For us, this is a very important match," the Nigeria manager said. "We have not played since November. There were two matches in March to test the players.
‘’During the World Cup our opponents will be Croatia and Iceland, that’s why we wanted to play with a team from Europe. ‘In turn, Poland got Senegal, and our team is somewhat similar physically to this opponent. This match is therefore the interest of both teams. A moment after the draw, I talked to your trainer and we agreed that we should face. We will start the game with Poland with the strongest line-up. I do not know yet what I will do before the next match with Serbia.’’
Juventus and Poland goalkeeper Szczesny is also looking forward to getting World Cup preparations underway and is keen to experience opposition from outside of Europe.
“We [Poland] definitely lack experience when it comes to playing with teams from Asia and Africa,” Szczesny said ahead of the game. "At this stage of preparation, everything is thought out and help us implement tactical assumptions and practice setting against teams, which way of playing are similar to those we will face in a group."
Lewandowski is likely to have some say in which way the game goes; the Bayern Munich forward has scored 23 Bundesliga goals in just 21 starts and four substitute appearances this season, and another five goals in seven Champions League outings.
The Poland forward was also the top scorer in World Cup qualifying on 16 goals, alongside Mohammad Al-Sahlawi and Ahmed Khalil of Saudi Arabia and UAE respectively.
Will Lewandowski strike again on Friday?