Reigning champions, France meet Poland in an all-European showdown at Al Thumama Stadium in Round of 16 at 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Victory would see France or Poland await the winner of England’s clash against Senegal in the Quarter-Finals.
France have no fresh injury concerns as captain, Hugo Lloris and Kylian Mbappe feature amongst several players looking for a recall to the starting line-up.
Theo Hernandez is a slight doubt after he suffered an ankle injury in training but is expected to be available for selection.
Poland have no fresh injury concerns to report but the following five players will miss a potential Quarter-Final if they’re booked; Przemyslaw Frankowski, Jakub Kiwior, Matty Cash, Arkadiusz Milik, Grzegorz Krychowiak
- France lost their only previous World Cup meeting against Poland, losing 3-2 in Third-Place Play-Off at 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain.
- Poland are unbeaten in four of their last five meetings against France in all competitions when playing as the away team (W1, D3, L1).
- France are unbeaten in their last seven meetings against Poland in all competitions (W3, D4), with their last two wins coming in February 2000 and June 2011 by 1-0 results.
- Didier Deschamps’ France have conceded in each of their last four World Cup matches dating back to 2018 Final (W3, L1).
- Poland have conceded just twice in their last five matches in all competitions, which came in a 2-0 defeat against Argentina in their final group match (W3, D1, L1).
Despite all of their attacking talent and aggressive pressing, France’s biggest issues seem to lie in defence with one conceded goal in each of their group games whilst their much-changed line-up against Tunisia struggled to match the quality of several regulars.
The fact that Deschamps rested several regulars in their defeat to Tunisia is another factor coming into this match, because it is easy to lose momentum psychologically but France now will have fresh players in their starting line-up.
Poland meanwhile were totally outclassed by Argentina in a lacklustre display but Wojciech Szczesny has proven a difficult man to beat between the sticks, so their biggest task has to be working out how best to provide service for Robert Lewandowski who can be isolated if receive limited service.
Now if Czeslaw Michniewicz’s Polish Eagles can work out various ways of utilising Lewandowski, I can seea tough battle and potential cupset on the cards otherwise France should have enough to qualify for the Quarter-Finals even if their defence concedes again.
Prediction: France 2-1 Poland
Result: France 3-1 Poland