England can effectively secure their passage through to the finals of the 2022 World Cup with a win against their toughest Group I rivals in Poland on Wednesday evening.
The Three Lions romped home to a 4-0 win away in Hungary in their first match of the international break thanks to goals from Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane, Harry Maguire and Declan Rice in a match that was overshadowed by the disgusting scenes of racism amongst the crowd in Budapest.
Gareth Southgate’s men then followed it up – despite a heavily-rotated XI which included Patrick Bamford for the first time and Trent Alexander-Arnold in an experimental midfield role – with another comfortable victory over Andorra at Wembley by the same score-line.
An away trip to Poland, though, feels like England’s toughest remaining assignment in this qualification campaign. If they are able to negate this, it feels like it’ll simply be a matter of time before a passage through to next year’s winter World Cup is secured.
You would expect Southgate to restore key players Kane, Sterling, Rice and Maguire to the starting XI after they were rested against Andorra, but the superb performances of Jude Bellingham and Bukayo Saka at Wembley will certainly be giving the England boss a slight selection headache.
Poland v England
FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifier
19:45 ITV / ITV Hub
(Maximum 10 matches)
MAR 2021 FIFA WORLD CUP England 2-1 Poland
OCT 2013 FIFA WORLD CUP England 2-0 Poland
OCT 2012 FIFA WORLD CUP Poland 1-1 England
OCT 2005 FIFA WORLD CUP England 2-1 Poland
SEP 2004 FIFA WORLD CUP Poland 1-2 England
SEP 1999 UEFA EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP Poland 0-0 England
MAR 1999 UEFA EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP England 3-1 Poland
MAY 1997 FIFA WORLD CUP Poland 0-2 England
OCT 1996 FIFA WORLD CUP England 2-1 Poland
SEP 1993 FIFA WORLD CUP England 3-0 Poland
Despite England getting the better of them at Wembley earlier this year, Poland look in relatively good shape with one loss, one draw and three wins to their name after fives games played in Group I.
As expected, Poland breezed to victory against San Marino in the week, although did suffer the ignominy of actually conceding a goal to them with Nicola Nanni scoring his country’s first World Cup qualifying goal in eight years in a 7-1 defeat to the Poles.
It goes without saying that Robert Lewandowski will be the man that England need to look out for. The legendary striker scored a simply ridiculous 41 goals in 29 appearances last season for Bayern Munich and already has 5 in 3 so far this campaign.
Poland should also be able to welcome back Jan Bednarek and Kamil Glik to their back-line while Bartosz Bereszynski and Piotr Zielinski are both expected to miss out through injury.
Poland certainly pose a threat and provided England with a tough test back in March, but the Three Lions should still have enough quality to find a way to win. We’re backing England to win and Both Teams to Score and a correct score of 2-1 to the away side.
⚠️ Stakes advised on a scale of 0-10 points depending on confidence from our preview team
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