Poland v England
Wednesday 8 September 19:45 kick-off
Live on ITV 1
England expects another victory
England’s 4-0 win over Andorra was nothing special, but Gareth Southgate got to rest some players and take a look at others – including the Trent Alexander-Arnold midfield experiement – as their routine World Cup qualification continued.
The Three Lions will no doubt make it to Qatar 2022 for what will be their seventh straight World Cup so it’s just a case of working out Southgate’s best team and squad – with that tournament only just over a year away.
A trip to Poland is a good test for England to see just where they’re at, and with a five point lead over Wednesday’s opponents a victory will effectively seal their qualification.
Harry Kane and Reheem Sterling should return to the starting line-up along with the majority of the team that won in Hungary – which was such a professional performance and something similar will be the order of the day.
Can Lewandowski breach England defence?
The main thing Hungary didn’t have, though, was a Robert Lewandowski – and now arguably the best striker in the world will try and beat an England defence that’s had 12 clean sheets in 15 matches and only conceded four goals in their last 12 World Cup qualifiers on the road.
Poland battered San Marino 7-1 in their last game to remain in second in the group, but they’d need a win here to seriously challenge England for top spot.
They have an awful record against the Three Lions though with just one win in 20 – and just three clean sheets for the hosts coming in those games.
Poland have only lost one of their last 14 home internationals which includes six wins with a clean sheet and a 0-0 with Italy last October.
Will both teams score in Warsaw?
England are huge 1.684/6 favourites for victory, with Poland 6.611/2 outsiders and the draw priced at 3.7511/4. The last time the teams met in Poland the game ended 1-1 and five of the last seven meetings in Poland have ended in draws.
While a draw could never be ruled out, England’s recent displays point to another professional performance and an away win – but doing that without letting Lewandowski score looks an even taller order.
The Bayern Munich man has 72 international goals and he’ll give England’s new defensive solidity a real test.
Both teams have scored in 10 of Poland’s last 11 games so the big question is whether the hosts can stick one past Jordan Pickford. 2.166/5 says both teams can score and with Poland having failed to score just once in the last 14 games they can keep up their end of the bargain and grab a rare goal against the Three Lions.
While you wouldn’t back this to turn into a shootout overall, England should have enough to win but with Lewandowski around a home goal is, and should be, an option so back England to win and both teams to score at 4.3100/30.
Kane and Sterling to lead the line again
There will be some serious attacking talent on disply with Lewandowski and Adam Buksa for Poland – Buksa score a hat-trick in his last game to move to four goals in two senior appearances.
Kane and Sterling will continue to be the main dangers for England and having had something of a rest they’ll start and will make Poland’s life a misery at the back.
Kane is 2.01/1 and Sterling 2.8815/8 to score anytime, while Lewandowski being priced up at 3.412/5 just to score a goal in the game shows just how highly regarded this England defence now is.
It’s worth backing him to score at that price just for the experience as he’s not likely to be anywhere near that price every week.