Euro 2016: Poles Apart

Robert Lewandowski

Szymon Podstufka of Transfery.info gives us the reaction to the draw from Poland, where they’re looking forward to reuniting with the Irish.

Polish fans are generally in a good mood after the draw, because we considered Spain or Netherlands and Belgium or Sweden as the worst 1st and 2nd pot rivals. Germany is a tough team to compete with, especially for us (we didn’t win any of 17 games with them, 9:31 in goals), but two ties with them will be very important for supporters who value wins with Germany and Russia a lot higher than any other game, because of our attitude to these nations, based on many historical events.

But to be honest, we must look for points in other matches. Germans know our most valuable player, Robert Lewandowski, better than anyone, so we will not surprise them with anything. I try to be realistic – the away game in Germany will not be about getting points, it will be about conceding as few goals as possible. And if we are talking about the home game, I would take a draw without any doubts.

ireland poland trainIreland and Scotland – that is where Poland will look for opportunities. Six games between those teams will undoubtedly mean a lot in this campaign. As I said, people in our country are optimistic about the draw, but I do not think they should be. We can say a lot of things about British-style teams, but one thing is sure – they never give up. And as we saw in the World Cup qualifiers, the Polish national team is in great trouble playing aggressive, brave sides. In one of our decisive games, against Ukraine, we lost because they fouled us time after time and we were not able to fight back.

We tend to underestimate Georgia as a points deliverer, but when I think of them, I see how they almost resisted Spain in September 2012 and how “La Roja” celebrated their winning goal. Maybe they are not able to qualify, but in Tbilisi they will make every group rival hurt for 90 minutes.

Gibraltar also can be tricky, especially because we play them in our first group game. We don’t know what to expect and we think of them similarly as we think of San Marino. And this underestimation could end very badly. Six points with them is necessary, but we’ve had some disappointments in recent years, so who knows…

But above all, we are extremely happy that we will have the opportunity to again meet with fans from Ireland who left great memories behind them after Euro 2012. Poland miss them and I hope our last group game in Warsaw will solve everything in this group, so we can have a show, both on the pitch and in the stands.

Szymon Podstufka is an editor of Transfery.info, the Polish football website.

Follow on Twitter: @PodstufkaSzymon

Image: Polska – Węgry

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