In the Poland: Euro 2016 team preview, we look ahead at the team’s squad and schedule, as well as how far we predict the team will advance in the tournament this summer.
Poland: Euro 2016 team preview
Manager: Adam Nawalka
Captain: Jakub Blaszczykowski
Poland: Euro 2016 team preview: Fixtures:
Sunday, June 12
Thursday, June 16
Tuesday, June 21
Poland: Euro 2016 team preview: 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 (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).
Forwards: Arkadiusz Milik (Ajax), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern), Mariusz Stępiński (Ruch Chorzów)
Poland: Euro 2016 team preview: Overview:
Having failed to progress beyond the group stages when they co-hosted the competition in 2012, Poland will have a desire to redeem themselves when they take to the field in France.
And after a qualifying campaign that included a memorable 2-0 win over world champions and arch rivals Germany, there’s a sense Nawalka’s side can go far here should they emerge from what is a very testing Group C. There’s certainly an exciting crop of players at the manager’s disposal.
Robert Lewandowski is the undeniable star—more on him later—but there is a lot more to this Poland team than the Bayern Munich goal machine. Lukasz Fabianski is benefitting from regular football between the sticks at Swansea City, while Grzegorz Krychowiak has been one of the standout holding midfield men in La Liga for the last two seasons.
Additionally, there’s a lot of flair in the final third that helps bring the very best out of Lewandowski. Arkadiusz Milk has shone at Ajax this term, while Piotr Zielinski, strongly linked with a move to Liverpool, is set to assume a position at the creative crux of this outfit. It’s little surprise Nawalka’s men fired their way to a whopping 33 goals in qualifying.
Where they may fall short is in defence, with Borussia Dortmund’s Lukasz Piszczek the only real consistent presence in the back four coming into these championships. Nawalka favours an attacking approach, but with such quality in their group, he will need to formulate a plan that gives the back line greater protection.
Nevertheless, this is nation on the up and a team that seem determined to right the wrongs of four years ago. With Europe’s finest No. 9 in their ranks, Poland will always stand a chance of finding a way through games too.
Poland: Euro 2016 team preview: Key Player:
Robert Lewandowski – In terms of a pure centre-forward, there’s nobody better than Lewandowski at this tournament. Not only has he shown that consistently with Bayern in 2015-16, netting a staggering 30 goals in the domestic season, but during qualifying too, scoring 13 times for Poland.
Bayern boss Pep Guardiola has improved Lewandowski during their time together in Bavaria. While his ruthless finishing is the most striking part of the 27-year-old’s game, there is so much more he has to offer. The former Dortmund man is such a rounded forward, showcasing balletic balance and a physicality that few defenders can shackle.
His predatory instincts can ultimately turn games and with a lot of intricate creators in support, Lewandowski shouldn’t be short of goalscoring opportunities. A strong showing this summer would cement his status as one of the very best players in the world at the moment.
Poland: Euro 2016 team preview: Verdict:
Quarter-Finals – Poland have all the hallmarks of a potential dark horse; an outstanding striker, a hard-working midfield and a manager who seems to have tweaked the team to alleviate some longstanding issues. They have it in them to edge Ukraine out of second spot and get beyond one knockout match before running into Spain.
Euro 2016 team previews
• Albania team preview
• Austria team preview
• Belgium team preview
• Croatia team preview
• Czech Republic team preview
• England team preview
• France team preview
• Germany team preview
• Hungary team preview
• Iceland team preview
• Italy team preview
• Northern Ireland team preview
• Poland team preview
• Portugal team preview
• Republic of Ireland team preview
• Romania team preview
• Russia team preview
• Slovakia team preview
• Spain team preview
• Sweden team preview
• Switzerland team preview
• Turkey team preview
• Ukraine team preview
• Wales team preview
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