Second vs first in Group I collide at Stadion Narodowy, Warsaw, as Poland host England in a blockbuster encounter.
Poland come into this match looking to cut their deficit to England down to two points with victory, whereas Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions can stay top with a win and potentially increase their lead to six points if Albania fail to win elsewhere.
Bartosz Bereszynski is a doubt for Poland after missing their thrashing of San Marino on Sunday, after having limped off during last week’s home win over Albania although he did participate in training prior to Sunday’s match.
England could welcome back a host of first-team regulars including Jordan Pickford, Kalvin Phillips and Jack Grealish back into the starting line-up, following Gareth Southgate’s decision to rotate his squad in Sunday’s mauling of Andorra.
Sam Johnstone, Conor Coady, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Bukayo Saka consequently are amongst those set to drop out as part of fresh changes.
- Poland have won just one of 13 previous World Cup Qualifiers against England (W1, D4, L8).
- England have lost just one of six previous away World Cup Qualifiers in Poland (W2, D3, L1), of which two of those three draws finished 1-1 in May 1993 and October 2012.
- Both teams have scored in four of their last five meetings which all came in World Cup Qualifiers.
- Nine of Poland’s 11 goals in their last two Qualifiers have been scored by the combination of Adam Buksa (4), Robert Lewandowski (3) and Karol Linetty (2).
- England’s only conceded goal during this 2022 World Cup Qualifying campaign came at home to Poland in March, as they prevailed 2-1 in the third matchday.
Having snatched a clinical win over Andorra on Sunday with a heavily-changed starting eleven despite making hard work of the match, England should hopefully be back to their best with likes of Raheem Sterling and Declan Rice set to start.
I however do expect this to be another difficult match akin to Hungary because Poland are an attack-minded team as evidenced by a ruthless win in San Marino on Sunday, so will certainly try to make life as difficult as possible for the Three Lions who will need to be absolutely firm defensively as well as clinical up front.
On that note, this will certainly be a close contest but the freshness of England’s line-up should be enough to force a winner.
Prediction: Poland 1-2 England
Result: Poland 1-1 England