Poland Euro 2024 squad, predicted line-up versus the Netherlands, latest odds and star players

6 days ago 18

HAVING finished a disappointing third in their group behind the Czech Republic and Albania, Poland needed a penalty shootout win over Wales in the play-offs to make the tournament.

After such a stuttering qualifying campaign there is little hope back home that Poland can make it through a very tricky group.

EPA
Poland saw off Wales to qualify[/caption]

Former Under-21s coach Michal Probierz was parachuted in during that qualification run to turn things around and managed to just sneak them through, but he has no experience of managing at a major tournament.

The squad will hold plenty of interest for fans from English clubs, with Aston Villa’s Matty Cash, Arsenal’s Jakub Kiwior, Southampton’s Jan Bednarek and Brighton midfielder Jakub Moder.

Manager: Michal Probierz

Has managed 10 clubs, nine of them Polish, one of which lasted just two days.

EPA
Michal Probierz took over as Poland manager in 2023[/caption]

Key man: Robert Lewandowski

There is no doubting that Poland’s fortunes will swing on whether Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski fires or not.

However, he must improve on a record of just seven goals in 18 tournament outings.

Robert Lewandowski has plenty of legs despite his age

Likely line-up

The Poles usually play with a three-man defence and wing-backs in a 3-5-2 formation.

Lewandowski is the main focus of the attack, with support from Karol Swiderski who plays for Serie A club Hellas Verona, on loan from MLS club Charlotte FC.

How Poland cold play in an 3-5-2 formation

How they attack

Expect to see Poland line up for the tournament in a 3-5-2 shape.

The wing-backs will combine with one of the deeper midfielders to try to take the ball out safely from the backline.

They use intelligent rotations to move the ball – but they can at times be too slow to progress.

The three central defenders spread across the pitch as the wing-backs move high. As the ball moves to the right-sided central defender, the right wing-back rotates back to receive it in space

Poland use the two wing-backs as their primary tactic for getting the ball up the pitch.

When they receive the ball in space they are more likely to pass and move rather than dribble or drive forward with the ball.

They will often look to combine and swap positions with the central midfielders.

The left wing-back receives the ball and has time and space to turn and play forward into space centrally to release runners moving from the midfield

As they open up spaces in the attacking phase we will see Poland become more aggressive with ball progression as they look to quickly release runners to attack space.

They are not a side that we can expect to be heavily possession-based.

Now the left wing-back makes a diagonal run into the penalty area. In possession, they will look to hit these spaces to attack as quickly as possible

How they defend

As with many teams coming into this tournament we expect to see Poland work and press relatively high when the opposition are looking to play out from the back.

Playing high and compact against the ball appears to be a real trend from the defensive side of the game amongst teams that have qualified for Germany.

Poland will work to force the opposition to play either long passes, where they can contest second balls, or out wide where they can slide the block and trap the opposition

When the opposition are enticed into playing passes that are still relatively short but out and into the wide spaces, we can expect to see Poland quickly shift their block over to pin the opposition to the touchline and then force a turnover.

The Wales goalkeeper plays the ball wide but Poland are quick to get over and to apply aggressive pressure on the man in possession

When they do drop and defend in more of a medium block we still see intelligent positioning from the Polish side against the ball.

They will remain strong and compact centrally. With the two forward and three central midfielders and then the wing-backs will be positioned aggressively high.

Here against Wales, we see Poland have dropped into a compact medium block to defend the long ball

Prediction

Poland are in a tough group with France, the Netherlands and potential dark horses Austria.

If they manage to upset the odds and top the pile, the Poles will face the runners-up from Group F – the Czech Republic, Turkey and Georgia would be most likely but Portugal could slip up.

Belgium and England would stand in the way of a surprise run to the final in the quarter and semi-finals respectively.

If they finish second, the runner-up from Group E would be next, potentially Ukraine or Romania.

Poland could also progress as one of the best third-placed teams but would then face a tough last-16 draw.

Latest odds

Poland are not expected to make a deep run in the tournament.

They are 1001/1 with William Hill, which places them in the bottom six of 24 countries.

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