France will continue the defence of their World Cup title this Sunday when they face Poland at the Al Thumama Stadium.
Venue: Al Thumama Stadium (Doha)
France have failed to score in three of their last ten games.
They have kept just two clean sheets in their last ten games.
Poland have kept four clean sheets in their last five games.
They have failed to score four of their last ten games.
Poland have failed to score in five of their last seven games against France.
World Cup trivia: France coach Didier Deschamps is one of just three people to win the World Cup as a player and manager alongside Brazil’s Mario Zagallo and Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer.
Head to head
In eight meetings between both sides, France have four wins while Poland have just one win, which came in the 1982 World Cup third-place playoffs.
Latest performances in all competitions
Despite falling to a narrow 1-0 loss to Tunisia last time out, France are in the knock-out round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup thanks to two wins in their first two group stage games.
The World Cup holders beat Australia 4-1 in their opening game before securing passage into this round of the competition thanks to a 2-1 win over Denmark in the second group game.
So while they would have wished that Antoine Griezmann’s goal was not ruled out in their 1-0 loss to Tunisia last time, they will also not care as the loss didn’t change their position as group winners.
After the game, head coach Didier Deschamps blamed injury to key players and rotation as the reason his side lost.
Speaking to RMC after the match, he said: “We had some difficulties with the choices that I made. It should help us in four days. Some players were at risk [of injury] and we had just played two high-intensity matches. It allowed the substitutes to see the difference [in quality] in a World Cup match.”
But he also added that his side have achieved their aim and will be looking forward to this round.
“We’ve reached the objective, we’re going to recover, now begins a second competition.”
Having beaten Argentina 4-3 at this stage last time out in Russia, they will fancy their chances of getting a great result against a Poland side they have only lost to once in eight head-to-head meetings (W4, D3).
Possible France starting line-up
Hugo Lloris, Jules Kounde, Raphael Varane, Dayot Upamecano, Theo Hernandez, Aurelien Tchouameni, Adrien Rabiot, Ousmane Dembélé, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Olivier Giroud.
Injured: Lucas Hernandez
Doubtful: Marcus Thuram
Poland will consider themselves lucky to still be in the World Cup after surviving elimination at the group stage by the tiniest margins.
Lewandowski and co. went into their last game with Argentina needing a draw to guarantee that they progress to the knockout stage ahead of the rest, which included Saudi Arabia and Mexico.
However, despite losing 2-0, they still booked their place in the Round of 16 thanks to a superior goal difference after Mexico beat Saudi Arabia 2-1 in the other Group C fixture.
Speaking after the game, Poland coach Czeslaw Michniewicz said his “heart dropped a beat” as his side squeaked through to the World Cup.
“We lost the game but sometimes those defeats are bittersweet, or sweet and bitter,” he said.
“This was the case for us – we lost, but we have got through to the next round for the first time in many, many years.”
Although he admitted that his side’s performance was not good enough, the Poland boss refused to be bitter, focusing only on the result.
“Let’s enjoy it–let’s be happy. There’s another game on Sunday, but let’s not take the joy away today,” he said.
“I’ve been in football for years and in the end, it’s the result that matters.”
He will hope that after Wednesday’s joys, his men can get back to shape ahead of this must-win game against the reigning world champions.
Possible Poland starting line-up
Wojciech Szczesny, Matty Cash, Kamil Glik, Jakub Kiwior, Bartosz Bereszynski, Piotr Zielinski, Krystian Bielik, Grzegorz Krychowiak, Przemyslaw Frankowski, Karol Swiderski, Robert Lewandowski.
|Odds-France||Odds-Poland||% France||% Poland|
|In 90 mins||1.300||11.000||70.77||8.36|
France 2-1 Poland
For details, FIFA Qatar World Cup 2022 – TV Broadcast / Live Stream