Are Poland ready for The Euro 2016?
Last updated: March 24, 2016 by Leon Marshal
Poland have shown very impressive performances in the qualifiers of The Euro 2016. The main reason for their good results is Robert Lewandowski, who became the top scorer with 13 goals and was decreed the best player of the competition. The Bayern Munich forward as scored at least once in Poland’s last 5 qualifying matches and helped his teammates achieve second place in their group.
On the other hand, Finland didn’t show anything special in their squad and logically couldn’t qualify for the European Championship. The Eagle-Owls depend too much on their performance in defence. They are playing on the counter-attack. They haven’t scored more than 1 goal in their last 14 matches. In addition, Finland have failed to score in 6 of these games, which goes to show they have serious problems in attack. They finished in 4th place in their qualifying group and will now have to wait for the next competitive matches after The Euro 2016.
The Finnish team has never qualified for a major tournament. Their best performance in a qualifying campaign was in 2010, when they exited with three points below second-placed of their group Russia. Finland won 5 matches, finished with a draw on 3 occasions (including two draws against Germany) and lost only 2 matches.
Taking a look back in history, we can see that Poland have been dominant over Finland. The Polish team has won 8 games, while the Finns have recorded only 2 victories. Poland have scored 29 and have conceded only 13 in their net. Both teams met in Poland 6 years ago and Finland held them off for a 0-0 draw! 9 of 17 matches between Poland and Finland have ended with the option of ‘under 2.5 goals’. Moreover, there have been 4 draws with the correct score of 0-0. Of course, that’s because of Finland’s playing style.
It’s very difficult to choose who to play from 3 top class goalkeepers. Adam Nawalka will have to choose among Artur Boruc, Lukasz Fabianski and Wojciech Szczezny. Borussia Dortmund’s defender Lukasz Piszcek is also called by the manager. When we take a look at Poland’s attack, we have to point out the name Arkadiusz Milik, who is showing amazing performances in Ajax’s colours. The striker has scored 16 goals in 25 matches for The Lancers. And of course, Robert Lewandowski is the best player in Nawalka’s selection. So, the Polish head coach has called-up all his best players and I think Finland just can’t surprise Poland at the Wroclaw Stadium on Saturday.
Roman Eremenko is the best player in the Finnish squad. The CSKA Moscow’s midfielder is a key part of the Russian team. Eremenko has recorded 68 caps for Finland and has scored 5 goals for his country. After Mikael Forssell retired from international football, Teemu Pukki seems to be the most dangerous striker in Finland’s current squad.
This match will be a test for Poland’s players – how to be creative against a team with a strong defence and physically strong players. The White Eagles are to play against Northern Ireland in the group stage of The Euro 2016 and “The Norn Iron” have a very similar style of playing to Finland, but of course Northern Ireland have classier players.
|Poland’s squad:||Artur Boruc, Łukasz Fabiański, Wojciech Szczęsny, Przemysław Tytoń, Kamil Glik, Artur Jędrzejczyk, Igor Lewczuk, Michał Pazdan, Łukasz Piszczek, Maciej Rybus, Bartosz Salamon, Jakub Wawrzyniak, Jakub Błaszczykowski, Ariel Borysiuk, Kamil Grosicki, Tomasz Jodłowiec, Bartosz Kapustka, Grzegorz Krychowiak, Robert Lewandowski, Karol Linetty, Arkadiusz Milik, Filip Starzyński, Łukasz Teodorczyk, Paweł Wszołek, Piotr Zieliński;|
|Head coach:||Adam Nawalka|
|Finland’s squad:||Lukas Hradecky (Eintracht Frankfurt), Niki Mäenpää (Brighton & Hove Albion FC), Jesse Joronen (Fulham FC), Kari Arkivuo (BK Häcken), Jonah Toivio (Molde FK), Paulus Arajuuri (Lech Poznan), Markus Halsti (DC United), Niklas Moisander (Sampdoria), Jere Uronen (KRC Genk), Ville Jalasto (HJK), Valtteri Moren (Waasland-Beveren), Alexander Ring (1.FC Kaiserslautern), Rasmus Schüller (BK Häcken), Roman Eremenko (CSKA Moscow), Tim Sparv (FC Midtjylland), Thomas Lam (PEC Zwolle), Robin Lod (Panathinaikos FC), Perparim Hetemaj (AC Chievo Verona), Janne Saksela (RoPS), Joel North Fire (Fortuna Düsseldorf), Kasper Hämäläinen (Legia Warszawa), Teemu Pukki (Brøndby IF).|
|Head coach:||Hans Backe|
Head to Head
|Last 5 meetings between the two sides|
|Date||Competition||Game Result||First Goal-scorer|
|29/05/10||Friendly||Poland 0-0 Finland||—|
|02/02/08||Friendly||Finland 0-1 Poland||A. Kokoszka 42′|
|12/09/07||ECQ||Finland 0-0 Poland||—|
|02/09/06||ECQ||Poland 1-3 Finland||J. Litmanen 54′|
|26/04/00||Friendly||Poland 0-0 Finland||—|