Poland Graces Qatar With Huge Expectations After 2018 Failure

5 mins read

Qatar 2022 will be Poland’s second consecutive FIFA World Cup with their first game scheduled for Tuesday against Mexico.

They will take on Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Argentina in Group C of the tournament.

After a disappointing showing at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, where Poland’s tournament came to a premature end after the group stage, superstar Robert Lewandowski and his team-mates are ready to go again and deliver a stronger performance at this year’s edition.

This preview is vastly sourced from FIFA’s official website.

With 20 points from ten games in UEFA qualification Group I, the Polish team looked very well drilled on the road to Qatar 2022. Yet because group rivals England performed better to take top spot by the end of the campaign, Poland were forced to take the scenic route via a play-off match against Sweden.

Shortly before this crucial encounter, Czeslaw Michniewicz was unveiled as the national side’s new head coach, taking over from predecessor Paulo Sousa. With a new man at the helm, Poland overcame the Swedish challenge to book their ticket to Qatar.

Michniewicz and his team will take on Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Argentina in Group C, setting up a mouthwatering meeting between superstars Robert Lewandowski and Lionel Messi.

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Having been drawn in such a strong group, Poland’s first aim will be to reach the round of 16 and consign the bitter memories of their early exit from Russia 2018 to the history books.

 

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Czeslaw Michniewicz was named head coach of the Polish national team in February 2022. He had just a few training sessions and a 1-1 draw in a friendly against Scotland to prepare himself and his new team for their decisive play-off match against Sweden. The 52-year-old former goalkeeper withstood this baptism of fire to lead Poland to the World Cup finals in Qatar courtesy of a 2-0 victory over their Scandinavian opponents.

Michniewicz is said to be a strong communicator who likes to build relationships with his players and speak to them regularly. He also brings his own personality to the team and has a clear vision of the brand of football he wants to play. He likes his team to take the initiative out on the pitch and play their own game, while at the same time tailoring their approach to take account of their opponents. Michniewicz analyses the opposition thoroughly and uses the valuable conclusions he draws from this analysis to choose the right system for his team.

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Indeed, it is already apparent that the Poland head coach favours an extremely flexible approach. Since he took over in February, his team have played in a wide range of different formations, increasingly opting for a 3-5-2 system in recent games.

Yet Michniewicz also regularly switches between a back four and back three in defence – even sometimes mid-match. By providing a clear structure in which to operate while also giving his players the opportunity to express themselves, the Poland coach ensures that his team also have plenty of freedom out on the pitch.

 

Key player: Robert Lewandowski

Superstar Robert Lewandowski will be motivated to have better showing than 2018

The facts speak for themselves when it comes to the Poland captain, who scored 312 goals in 384 Bundesliga appearances for Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. Since moving to Barcelona ahead of the current season, he has quickly settled into life in La Liga and is continuing where he left off in Germany.

With 134 international caps and 76 goals to his name, Lewandowski holds the record for his homeland in both categories. Yet there is just one small blemish in his impressive record. He did not score a single goal in his only previous World Cup appearance at Russia 2018 – a statistic that is likely to change in Qatar.

Poland’s Group C fixtures
22 November
Mexico-Poland (19:00 local time, Stadium 974)
26 November
Poland-Saudi Arabia (16:00 local time, Education City Stadium)
30 November
Poland-Argentina (22:00 local time, Stadium 974)
Prime Business Africa’s prediction: Poland will be a contender for one of the two tickets from Group C possibly along with Argentina. But in football, things don’t always happen as anticipated.
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