Wales welcome Poland to Cardiff City Stadium in a crunch relegation decider in League A4 of 2022-23 UEFA Nations League.
Only victory would see Wales stay up and condemn Poland to League B, whereas the visiting Polish know that anything but a defeat would see them survive at Wales’ expense.
Gareth Bale could start for Wales after he only featured as a second-half substitute in Thursday’s 3-1 away defeat to Belgium.
Chris Mepham and Ethan Ampadu are both suspended for this match.
Poland have no fresh injury concerns to report as Szymon Zurkowski returns to the squad, having served an one match ban in Thursday’s home defeat against Netherlands.
- Wales lost their only previous Nations League meeting against Poland, which came in a 2-1 away defeat in June 2022.
- Poland are visiting Wales in the Nations League for the first time but are unbeaten in three of four previous visits in all competitions (W3, L1).
- Wales have kept just one clean sheet in four home matches against Poland in all competitions, winning 2-0 in March 1973 in UEFA Qualifying for 1974 FIFA World Cup.
- Each of Wales’ two goals scored at home in this group were scored after the 85th minute.
- Two of Poland’s three away goals in this group were scored in the first-half, courtesy of Robert Lewandowski and Matty Cash respectively.
Although Wales simply must win to stand any chance of survival, Rob Page’s Dragons can be proud of how well they’ve adapted to the top-tier with at least one goal in all five group matches so far, even if their defence has been their downfall just like it was in Belgium on Thursday.
Poland meanwhile are coming into this match without a single goal in their last two games yet have survival in their own hands, so the pressure surely is more on them than Wales who need to treat this as a cup final but the visitors have dangerous players like Lewandowski who need to now step up.
The first goal is therefore going to be crucial because if Wales can get ahead, their belief will definitely rise as long as they can defend as well as we saw against Ukraine in June, whereas I can’t see the hosts avoiding relegation if Poland find the net first.
It however wouldn’t be surprised if we see a cagey contest with neither team wanting to concede first let alone early in the match, but I do expect at least one goal and the longer it stays goalless, the more I see Wales springing a surprise given Poland’s dip in goalscoring form.
Prediction: Wales 1-0 Poland
Result: Wales 0-1 Poland (Wales are RELEGATED!!)