Everyone wrote Poland off when the groups were drawn but they head in to this tie having won two out of two, can Spain’s highly rated squad get the result they need to qualify.
It’s somewhat of a role reversal in this fixture from what many predicted before a ball was kicked. Poland looked to have been dealt a pretty rough hand when they were placed in a group with Spain, Italy and Belgium; with the first two going off as two of the favourites to live the trophy. But the plucky Poles have beaten Italy and Belgium already and are looking to round off a stunning group stage with a positive result here. They’ll be keen to continue their success and claim top spot with the view to getting a favourable draw in the first knockout round.
Spain looked like they were raring to go in this tournament after taking the lead just nine minutes in to their opening game against Italy. However a superb performance from The Azzuri, led by starlet Federico Chiesa saw the Spaniards suffer a disappointing 3-1 loss. So it was crunch time against Belgium, again The Spaniards got off to a storming start as Dani Olmo slotted home after just six minutes. Belgium levelled it up after just 24 minutes and from then on it was a real nail biter; Spain dominated the game but it took until the 89th minute as Villareal midfield Pablo Fornals found the winning goal to keep their hopes alive. Spain go in to this match as firm favourites at 1.25 to win, with Poland out at 10.0 for a victory. I think Poland’s price is remarkable, I know they weren’t fancied pre-tournament but they’ve already shown they can hold their own with the very best. Defensively solid and playing as one whole unit, a Poland win or draw at 3.75 looks like exceptional value.
There’s no reason for Poland to change their system given the success they’ve had so far. Arsenal youngster and Charlton play-off hero Krystian Bielik moved in to midfield against Italy and netted the winner in a superb all round performance and he’s expected to continue in that role. Poland have played with five in midfield so far with one lone striker, they’ll drop back deep and look to absorb the pressure Spain will impose. It’ll be a tough task containing such talented midfield players but if anyone can do it so far in this tournament, Poland may just be the perfect candidates. Bielik has already found the net twice in this tournament and he’s a huge threat from set pieces, an avenue that Poland will be keen to exploit against a relatively small Spain side, Bielik could be a great outside pick for goal at a price of 12.0 anytime or a massive 34.0 first.
Pablo Fornals will hope to start for Spain after his winner against Belgium, he’ll join the attacking trifactor alongside Dani Olmo and Mikel Oyarzabal. The spearhead of that attack may change though; Borja Mayoral has looked off the pace so far and could make way for Rafa Mir. Mikel Merino will anchor the midfield alongside Spain’s star man so far: Dani Ceballos. Merino rotates in due to an injury to Napoli’s Fabian Ruiz, who had a superb club season and will be sorely missed. Antonio Sivera should keep his place in goal after coming in to the starting eleven for the last match.
It’s a huge game for Spain, they cannot afford to lose. Of course they’ll be targeting a win to give them the bets chance of qualification, especially with Italy taking on the groups bottom side. But Poland will be a tough nut to crack and I fancy them to spring somewhat of a surprise. They’re tough and physical and will disrupt Spain’s technical game as often as possible. I love the price of a 1-1 draw at 11.0.
Poland win or draw @ 3.75
Correct score 1-1 @ 11.0
Both teams to score @ 1.85