Poland vs. Senegal /2018 World Cup – With this match end the first round of the group phase of the 2018 World Cup and Poland and Senegla will show how good they have been prepared. The Poles didn’t lose in last three friendlies, while Senegal did far worse. The Senegalese won just the last friendly, after three draws and defeat by Croatia, while after three winless matches Poland won two and drew the last friendly. The two teams have never met before. Begins: 19.06.2018 – 17:00 CET
The Poles become regular at European Championships but they skipped last two World Cups so this is sort of comeback, but they don’t plan to be just another participant. Poland has very good team and two years ago it reached the quarter-finals at the Euro in France when it was eliminated by Portugal, which won the title later on. Poland was dominant in its qualifying group and it won the first place with just one bad match when Denmark outclassed them by 4-0. There were some other problems at couple of other matches but the Poles were the best when it was the most needed. They won three last matches and ended up at the first place.
After that they relaxed a bit and they drew three following friendlies without scoring a single goal. Still, out of last three test matches they won two and drew one, and were again very efficient; they scored nine goals in those three matches. The best part of the team is attack, where the greatest star of the team belongs, Robert Lewandowski, who was the best scorer of the European qualifications. We expect that he will continue with good performances at the World Cup, which is something that Polish team depends on. The Poles have a great problem in injury of stopper Glik, which is definitely a handicap for manager Nawalka, and instead of him will play Bednarek as the youngest in otherwise very experienced defence. The rest of the team is pretty much known and there shouldn’t be new surprises.
Probable lineups Poland: Szczesny – Piszczek, Bednarek, Pazdan, Rybus – Linetty, Krychowiak – Blaszczykowski, Zielinski, Grosicki – Lewandowski
Senegal qualified for the World Cup for the second time in its history and by that they are one of the least experienced teams in Russia but we shouldn’t forget that the Senegalese made sensation at their debut in Japan and South Korea 2002 when they even reached the quarter-finals. With a bit more luck they could go even further but Turkey eliminated them after extra-time. It was predicted that the Senegalese will be regular at World Cup in the future but they had disappeared from the world scene and resurfaced only in the qualifications for the 2018 World Cup, when they were a dominant team in the group compared to Burkina Faso, their biggest rival. Series of friendlies had started with three consecutive friendlies with rivals which will not participate at the World Cup and they scored just one goal, against Uzbekistan, while they drew with Bosnia-Herzegovina and Luxembourg 0-0.
That was unusual for team that play offensive football but then they played a very good match against Croatia. They didn’t have luck and were defeated 2-1 although they had number of chances to score and win in the end. The Senegalese won South Korea in the last friendly before going to Russia by 2-0, which gave them so much needed peace of mind before the first match, which is very important in relatively equal group like it theirs. The biggest star of the team by far is Liverpool’s forward Sadio Mane. He will be the most prominent forward but he is not the only dangerous player as there are besides him Niang, Sarr, Sakho, and two excellent stoppers Koulibay and S. Sane, so the Senegalese shouldn’t be written-off in advance.
Probable lineups Senegal: K. N'Diaye – Gassama, Koulibaly, S. Sane, Sabaly – I. Gueye, Kouyate – Sarr, Mane, Niang – Sakho
Poland – Senegal PICK
Poland is favourite on paper and the strongest candidate besides Columbia to reach the round of 16, but many experts consider Senegal as “floating mine” and team ready to surprise and we expect to prove that and stay undefeated in this match.
Pick: Asian handicap +0.5 Senegal
Odds: 1.64 at williamhill (down to 1.56 can be played)