Robert Lewandowski will be Poland's danger man tonight.
Poland have not got past the first round of a tournament since 1986, but under a new manager and smarting from their failure to win a match at their home Euros, there is a steelier determination in the squad. England beware. Here are PlayUp’s pick of 5 Polish players to watch out for as they battle to scalp England tonight:
The Borussia Dortmund striker scored 22 Bundesliga goals and 7 DFB Cup goals last season, including a fantastic hat trick against Bayern Munich in the final.
In the Champions League two weeks ago, he was thwarted on numerous occasions by Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart, who he will meet again tonight. This true national hero will be considered one of the only players who can cancel out the absences of Szczesny and Blaszkowski.
One player constantly underrated but who will be vital to any Polish success is Bordeaux’s Ludovic Obraniak. Moving from Lille in the January transfer window last season – where the creative attacking midfielder won his first domestic title – Obraniak has scored two goals in eight Ligue 1 appearances this season.
Tyton has been Szczesny’s replacement since the Arsenal man saw red against Greece at Euro 2012. It was a dream placement for the PSV Eindhoven keeper as he saved the resultant penalty from Szczesny’s foul, becoming the first goalkeeper in history of the European Championships to save a penalty after coming on. This will be his chance to make the No. 1 shirt his own so expect a bold performance from him.
A feisty character, Piech was once arrested minutes before a match in April 2006 and dragged off to serve nine months in jail for a drunken assault that had taken place almost 3 years previously. After turning his life around, he is preparing for the biggest game of his career and will relish playing against his hero Wayne Rooney.
He was chosen as the Polish Premier League Player of the Year last season but surprising missed out on a Euro 2012 spot in the Poland side. Intent on making a point, he is in great form for his club Ruch Chorzow, scoring 4 goals in 7 league appearances.
Roy Hodgson will be looking for a big contribution from his wingers tonight but someone who will want to supress their talents will be tough RSC Anderlecht full back Wasilewski. After having recovered from an open leg fracture back in August 2009 his determination to return has proved that his mentality is certainly one to be respected. He scores goals too; during the 2008–09 season, he was Anderlecht’s third highest goal scorer, tied with one other player at 8 goals.