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Top three: Poland dangermen for England to beware

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In only a matter of hours, at Wembley stadium, the crucial World Cup qualifier between England and Poland will kick-off that could define the reign of Roy Hodgson and indeed the international careers of some of the senior members within the Three Lions' playing squad.

On paper, the history suggests that England should have little to fear, with past games against Poland leading the home side to a 15-game unbeaten streak, an effort that is currently their best record against any international side.

However, as we know, football isn’t played on paper, and despite the strong record against the travelling Polish side, a draw or defeat would simply not be good enough (assuming Ukraine run out as winners against minnows San Marino).

Therefore, we take a look here at some of the dangermen within a Poland squad that despite having nothing to play for in terms of qualification, will be aiming to impress their large away support, expected to be approximately 18,000 supporters,

Artur Boruc

Firstly, it has to be noted that the current Poland squad is blessed with a wealth of talented goalkeepers that I’m sure will be familiar to England fans and followers of the Premier League; the Arsenal duo of Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski both warmed the bench in the recent 1-0 defeat to Ukraine.

However, it is the Southampton shot-stopper Artur Boruc that is the most experienced of the current crop of Polish keepers, and current number one for the international side. 

The Saints man has been in impressive form domestically over the past 12 months, helping steer Mauricio Pochettino’s men to fourth place in the Premier League so far this season, albeit after only seven games.

His impressive string of league performances have no doubt provided the England management and players the opportunity to watch and study the Pole’s game, with the result that the likes of Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck - should they feature - will know the challenge facing them between the sticks.

Jakub Blaszczykowski

The first of two Borussia Dortmund stars in this feature, Blaszczykowski is a dynamic, attacking winger and the current Polish captain.

He has been a talisman for the Dortmund side in recent years that has seen unprecedented success; the 2011/2012 Bundesliga and domestic cup double, as well as reaching the Champions League final in the following season have been notable highlights.

With his natural pace, passing and dribbling ability, the Polish captain will be looking to apply pressure to the England back line at every opportunity, especially in the absence of both first choice full-backs for the home side.

Also, despite the fact that Poland cannot qualify for the 2014 World Cup, Blaszczykowski has begun his rallying cry to the large, expectant Polish contingent at Wembley.

Blaszczykowski (2013) has emerged to say: "We want to thank them [the fans] with a good game and the right result," suggesting that the Polish squad are still motivated to test Roy Hodgson’s England.

Robert Lewandowski

Of course, no analysis of Poland’s key players could be complete without the second Borussia Dortmund player to feature in this piece, Robert Lewandowski.

No stranger to fans of English football, the Polish hit-man was linked with a host of top Premier League clubs in the summer, including Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City.

Lewandowski lit up the Champions League last season, as Jurgen Klopp’s Dortmund steam-rolled their way into the final, with his incredible four goal haul scored against Real Madrid in the first-leg of the semi-final alerting the world to his presence as one of the world’s finest.

Of all the threats to England’s safe passage to Brazil 2014, Lewandowski is by far the greatest. His ability to create an opportunity from very little and innate knack for scoring important goals will surely make the England coaching staff nervous, an emotion they will hope to stop from transferring to the players I’m sure.

The challenges faced by England are significant in tonight’s qualifier, with the three players picked out here just some of the talent on show from the away side.

However, it has to be noted that Poland are ranked fourth in Group H for a reason, as their performances have been underwhelming to say the least.

For Hodgson’s England then, and for a country that expects, the Polish onslaught should be one that can be dealt with, although I’m sure Blaszczykowski can think of 18,000 reasons to suggest otherwise.

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Topics:
World Cup
Football
England Football
Robert Lewandowski

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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