STAR PREVIEW: Poland v Republic Of Ireland
[dropcap]O[/dropcap]n the two previous occasions Ireland have visited Poland it’s resulted in a 0-0 draw so expectations from both sides might be considered a little low ahead of tonight’s qualifier but we can’t ignore the Lewandowski factor.
He has scored 14 goals in his last five games and will be the first choice of many punters in their first goalscorer bets tonight.
Poland require a win to seal qualification whereas Ireland are guaranteed at least a play-off spot but three points will ensure a top-two finish in Group D and a 2-2 or higher draw would also be enough to make certain of the trip to France next year.
There were heroics on home soil from Ireland on Thursday when they beat the World Champions Germany 1-0 but that has come at a cost. Goalkeeper Shay Given has been ruled out tonight because of a knee injury sustained during that game. Rob Elliot takes his place.
O’Neil is very alert to the threat posed by Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski. He said: “Outside of the very, very best players in the world, Ronaldo and Messi, Lewandowski is in a bracket of a number of players who are not far behind. He’s really brilliant. Someone like that, whom you can rely on, is going to cause you problems. You have to cope with that and try and come through.”
Poland v Republic of Ireland
UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier
19:45 Sky Sports 1 / Sky Sports 1 HD
HEAD TO HEAD RECORD
(Maximum 10 matches)
Mar 2015 EURO CHAMPIONSHIPS Ireland 1-1 Poland
Nov 2013 INTERNATIONAL Poland 0-0 Ireland
Feb 2013 INTERNATIONAL Ireland 2-0 Poland
Nov 2008 INTERNATIONAL Ireland 2-3 Poland
Apr 2004 INTERNATIONAL Poland 0-0 Ireland
I’ve a feeling this will be tougher for Ireland than their match against Germany (which was tough enough!) but the draw at 23/10 makes some appeal with Star Sports.
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BACK DRAW for 6 points at around 23/10 with Star Sports
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