Decisive battle for the Poles in the Euro.  Will he surprise the stakes again?

PAP / Marcin Bielecki / Pictured: Michal Proppers

Dariush Varun

The countdown to the decisive battle between the Poles at Euro 2024 has begun, Wojciech Szczesny announces that the match against Austria (Friday at 6pm) is a mini-final for the Whites and Reds. Here is the expected lineup for this match.

Watch Euro 2024 on WP Pilot [transmisja płatna].
From Berlin – Darius Varon, WP SportoweFakty

– It will be a different match than the match against the Netherlands – the coach said at the press conference on Thursday. However, Austria goalkeeper Ralf Rangnick can say the same. Both teams started the European Championship facing stronger opposition. They both made a really good impression. But they are still without points.

A battle awaits us

Therefore, Wojciech Szczęsny is absolutely right when he says that the match at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin is a little finale for the Poles. If they win, they will be close to qualifying for the knockout stages. In the event of defeat, the chances of qualifying for the 1/8 finals will be marginal.

– The Austrians are a difficult opponent. They are outplayed, fight to the end, and come out strong on the counter-attack. We must be vigilant. Austria is playing with great intensity, and received five yellow cards against France. Antoine Griezmann landed on the boards with a severed header. Kylian Mbappe broke his nose. And there were a few short circuits – this is what the President of the Polish Football Association, Cezary Kuleza, analyzes in an interview with WP SportoweFakty.

Watch the video: “Live from the Euro”. They don’t give the Poles much chance to advance. “Football is not baseball”

The rival players are also convinced that on Friday at the Olympic Stadium they will face a match as deadly as the match against the “France National Team” (0:1) in Düsseldorf. – There will definitely be a lot of body fights. We could have a fierce match. The Poles prefer to play in contact – goalkeeper Patrick Bentz is analyzed on our pages.

Touchstone says directly: If it is about battle, playing football alone is not enough. We have to stand up and play hard like Austria. Therefore, physical fitness and the ability to fight in contact are expected to be an important factor when selecting a starting eleven.

Michal Proppers during official training before the match against Austria (Photo by Piotr Kucza/FotoPyk/Newspix)

Some question marks

The selector can relax a little. In the first Euro match, Robert Lewandowski and Paweł Dawidovic were unusable, and Karol Swiderski came on in the second half, recovering from injury. All three will be able to play against Austria.

Dawidovic, who enjoys a lot of confidence from Probiers, could partner in creating a defensive block with Jakub Kuyur and Jan Bednarek. Another option is Bartosz Salamon, who, despite being involved in both Netherlands goals, played a good game in Hamburg. He often played well going forward.

There are more unknowns on the second line. Sebastian Szymanski, who failed in the first match, will most likely lose his place in the starting lineup, and the coach will have to choose two of the three: Bartosz Slich, Jakub Moder and Taras Romanchuk. Jakub Piotrowski, who had a great shot from long range, is still in reserve. Let us remind you that the 26-year-old is a discovery of Michel Probers. He has had a great run with the national team and would certainly like to continue that at Euro 2024.

Lewandowski’s return

Robert Lewandowski was set up from minute one. On Wednesday, the captain of the Whites and Reds trained for the first time with the team after recovering from a biceps injury. A day later, he also ran onto the field, this time at the Olympic Stadium, to participate in official pre-match training. It started with two bullets and he didn’t seem bothered by anything. However, this can be misleading.

The final decision on Lewy’s appearance against Austria in the Round of 11 was due to be made after training on Thursday. It is still a mystery how well the national team captain will be able to play and how his leg will react to the match loads. This time, the staff made sure that too much information was not leaked to the media.

The smile on the captain’s face (Photo: Łukasz Grochala/Newspix)

Who is next to the captain of the national team? Here Touchstone has three options. Adam Buksa performed well in the first match for the Poles, Szczesny recalled at the conference. Moreover, the striker’s excellent physical conditions will be an added advantage in the face of the strong Austrian defence.

In turn, what speaks about Karol Sviderski is that his collaboration with Lewandowski has been great so far. The ball is looking for him in the penalty area. We saw it again in Hamburg – in the end ‘Świder’ would have given us a point. The coach’s third choice is 19-year-old Kacper Urbański as a ‘suspended’ player under the striker. The young player joined the team without any contract.

– Technically good, with innate ease. It’s not easy when you go to the national team for the first time and you have to suddenly come in at the start of the match. In friendly matches, Urbanski looked as if he was playing his 50th or 100th match for the national team – as Bartosz Berezinski said in WP SportoweFakty before the match with the Netherlands.

For the teenager to play from minute one in the next match would be a poker move on Probierz’s part. But the coach has already shown that he has a lot of courage. Who will he choose this time?

It is very likely that even he himself does not know the full lineup yet.

Poland’s expected lineup to face Austria (Friday at 6:00 pm):

Wojciech Szczesny – Pawed Dawidowicz, Jan Bednarek, Jakub Kuyur – Przemyslaw Frankowski, Bartosz Slez, Jakub Moder, Piotr Zieliński, Nikola Zalewski – Adam Buksa, Robert Lewandowski
Watch Polish national team matches on Pilot WP (sponsored link)

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