Euro 2016 Group C Preview: Poland

Poland will look to star man Robert Lewandowski to help them make it out of the group at Euro 2016 for the first time, but just how far can Adam Nawałka’s side reach in France?

Poland beat world champions Germany in qualifying image: dailymail.co.uk

Poland beat world champions Germany in qualifying
image: dailymail.co.uk

History

This is Poland’s third appearance at the European Championships.

They were co-hosts alongside group C rivals Ukraine in 2012 but they failed to make it out of their group. Their other participation in 2008 also saw them fail to make it out of the group.

Key Player 

Robert Lewandowski scored over 100 goals when he was with Borussia Dortmund image: goal.com

Robert Lewandowski scored over 100 goals when he was with Borussia Dortmund
image: goal.com

Robert Lewandowski has the capability to run this team all on his own as Poland look to the powerful Bayern Munich striker to continue his incredible goalscoring form into Euro 2016.

The 27-year-old scored 42 goals in all competitions for the German champions last season and he has bagged 100 German top flight goals quicker than any foreign player. He is lethal in front of goal and will cause defences big problems in France.

He is among Poland’s highest scorers with 34 goals and was top scorer in qualifying with 13 goals to his name. Lewandowski is crucial to this team and they will be relying on his goals to help them reach the knock-out stages.

One to watch

22-year-old midfielder Piotr Zielinski is one of Poland’s brightest prospects and with a number of club’s chasing the Empoli man’s signature, this is his chance to show exactly what he is capable of.

Piotr Zielinski has scored three goals in 13 appreances for Poland image: talking baws.com

Piotr Zielinski has scored three goals in 13 appearances for Poland
image: talking baws.com

The midfielder left Udinese at the age of 16 for just €100,000 but after an incredible season on loan at Empoli by scoring five goals in 35 appearances for the Serie A side, he is wanted man with Liverpool among those interested.

However, the youngster will need to put those rumours aside for the next few weeks as the number ten looks to be a breakout star at Euro 2016 and help Poland cause a few shocks.

Squad

Goalkeepers: Łukasz Fabiański (Swansea), Wojciech Szczęsny (Roma), Artur Boruc (Bournemouth).

Defenders: Thiago Cionek (Palermo), Kamil Glik (Torino), Artur Jędrzejczyk (Legia), Michał Pazdan (Legia), Łukasz Piszczek (Borussia Dortmund), Bartosz Salamon (Cagliari), Jakub Wawrzyniak (Lechia Gdańsk).

Midfielders: Jakub Błaszczykowski (Fiorentina), Kamil Grosicki (Rennes), Tomasz Jodłowiec (Legia), Bartosz Kapustka (Cracovia), Grzegorz Krychowiak (Sevilla), Karol Linetty (Lech Poznań), Krzysztof Mączyński (Wisła), Sławomir Peszko (Lechia Gdańsk), Filip Starzyński (Zagłębie Lubin), Piotr Zieliński (Empoli).

Strikers: Arkadiusz Milik (Ajax), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern), Mariusz Stępiński (Ruch Chorzów)

Poland have never made it past the group stages on two previos Euros image: the42.ie

Poland have never made it past the group stages on two previous Euros
image: the42.ie

Prediction: Quarter Finals

Poland as quarter-finalists? It might seem crazy but here is the logic. I am backing Poland to secure second place in group C behind Germany, a result that will set up a clash with group A’s runners-up which will likely be Switzerland or Romania.

With Lewandowski leading the line up front, Poland will have enough about them to see off either of those sides but they won’t get further than the last eight. I think the Polish people would be happy with a quarter-final exit.

However, apart from Lewandowski there isn’t really anything special about this team. Fiorentina’s Jakub Błaszczykowski and Sevilla’s Grzegorz Krychowiak are key in midfield but their defence is a worry. However, they still are a decent side to bag second in their group.

Poland’s Fixtures

12 June v Northern Ireland (1700)

16 June v Germany (2000)

21 June v Ukraine (1700)

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