Spain takes on Poland in Seville, in their second game in the Group E of the Euro 2020, and it is all set to be an exciting game, with both nations’ campaigns in this tournament in danger of ending early if they lose this game.
The Spanish side were disappointing against Sweden in the previous game. They made a staggering 917 passes to Sweden’s 162, created a few chances, but poor finishing on the part of striker Alvaro Morata and Co. cost Spain, as they dropped two precious points. Dani Olmo went closest, but his shot was cleared by the Swedish defence led by the centre-back pairing of Victor Lindelof and Marcus Danielsson. La Roja dominated Sweden with 86% possession and on any other day would have won easily, but they just could not seem to find the way on Monday night.
Spain were left without the hugely experienced midfielder and captain Sergio Busquets after he tested positive for COVID-19 a few days before the game. Nevertheless, coach Luis Enrique has backed his young and fairly inexperienced side to get the points needed in the last two games and progress to the knockout stages.
Poland were on the end of a shock 1-2 defeat against Slovakia after Polish midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak was sent off after an hour of play and Slovakian centre-back Milan Skrianiar put his nation ahead a few minutes later with a wonderful finish. Poland looked vulnerable whenever the Slovakians put together a counter-attack.
Lewandowski failed to get proper service and had close to no impact on the game after being man-marked by Skriniar. It looks like a tough task for the Polish against Spain, and they need to win this one at all costs if they hope to progress to the next round. A loss in the first game has left them with a mountain to climb, and coach Paulo Sousa will be hoping for a better response from his team on Saturday.
Spain will again be without captain Sergio Busquets, although he has joined up with the squad after recovering from COVID-19 and could be available for the last group game against Slovakia. Luis Enrique will have the rest of the squad available for selection. Everyone is curious to see if Thiago, who was left on the bench for youngster Pedri, starts on Saturday. There could also be a start for Cesar Azpilicueta, replacing Marcos Llorente at right-back.
Poland will be without Krychowiak after he received a second yellow card against Slovakia. There seem to be no fresh injury concerns ahead of the game against Spain and it remains to see who will replace Krychowiak in the midfield.
SPAIN XI: Unai Simon; Cesar Azpilicueta, Aymeric Laporte, Pau Torres, Jordi Alba; Thiago, Rodri, Koke; Ferran Torres, Alvaro Morata, Pablo Sarabia.
POLAND XI: Wojciech Szczesny; Bartosz Bereszynski, Kamil Glik, Jan Bednarek; Jakub Moder, Kamil Jozwiak, Maciej Rybus, Mateusz Klich, Karol Linetty; Piotr Zielinski; Robert Lewandowski
PLAYER TO WATCH OUT FOR:
Robert Lewandowski: A Ballon D’Or hopeful for this season, Lewandowski had an excellent season with club Bayern Munich breaking Gerd Muller’s record for most goals in a single Bundesliga season with 41 goals. Robert is his country’s main man and is always in the spotlight whenever he plays for Poland. Lewandowski did not receive the service that he needs from his midfield in the first game of the Euro 2020 but will be hoping it’s better against Spain, in a match that is of high stakes if they want to progress to the knockout rounds.
He is a proven goalscorer and opposition defenders are wary of giving him even half a chance. He is a threat from anywhere in and around the box and is key to his team’s success. If they want to get past Spain, Lewandowski’s Polish teammates need to create the chances for him to score. They cannot afford to drop points anymore, and the entire country’s hopes will be pinned on the form of the extraordinary goalscorer that is Robert Lewandowski.
Spain vs Poland: 2-1