Poland's World Cup 2022 Standings
Poland head Group H, which also includes Senegal, Colombia and Japan. Below you will find their current tournament standings, updated after every matchday.
Poland's Odds To Win The World Cup
Poland is somewhat hard to predict leading into their first World Cup in twelve years. While the FIFA rankings suggest that the Europeans are ranked seventh in the world, it's hard to see how they have risen so high. Yes, they topped their qualification group leading up to the 2018 tournament. However, their group contained just one team in the top forty nations. They were defeated 4-0 by Denmark in a qualifier in September and also lost to Mexico in November.
Sports Interaction has listed Poland well down the list of potential World Cup winners, priced at +4400. This places them behind France, Croatia, Uruguay, England and Columbia despite the fact that they outrank them according to FIFA. We are certainly not recommending a bet on the outright market - in fact, we are going to make a big statement and predict that Poland will fail to qualify for the Round of 16.
We rate Columbia as the best chance to top Group H, and we also like Senegal's chances of making it through to the second round, which means Poland will have to settle for another group stage exit on their return to the tournament. Poland is paying -167 to progress, while you can get +120 if you agree that Poland will be eliminated at the first hurdle. The fact that the odds are quite close backs up our theory that the Poles are no sure thing.
If you totally disagree and believe Poland will go on a run in Russia, Sports Interaction has a number of lines available, including +250 on offer for them to make the quarter-finals, and +600 available if you think Poland can equal their best ever performance and make it to the final four. Whatever you choose, Poland shouldn't fail to entertain with Lewandowski at the front and a questionable defence - we could see plenty of goals in this group.
Poland's Squad & Key Players
All teams must declare a 30 man squad for the World Cup by the middle of May, while the final 23 man squads don't have to be finalized until the first week of June, just days prior to the tournament start date. We will update you when the team sheets are announced, but first, let's take a look at some of the most important players in the Polish team and who we think will play a big part in the competition.
Robert Lewandowski (Striker)
There's one damning statistic that proves how important Robert Lewandowski is to the Polish national team. The centre forward was the top-scorer in UEFA qualifying with sixteen goals, more than the rest of his team combined (Poland scored 28 in total). To put this in perspective, nobody from Belgium, Germany or Spain came within five goals of him despite their nations recording 43, 43 and 36 goals respectively.
Lewandowski is one of the few out and out strikers in the world at the moment that rivals Harry Kane for sheer ruthlessness in front of goal. His senior club career boasts 234 goals from 361 appearances, and at the time of writing, he had scored 92 from 113 for Bayern Munich. He is already the nation's all-time greatest goal scorer and shows no sign of slowing down.
Piotr Zielinski (Midfielder)
Often utilized as a strike partner for Lewandowski, Napoli's Piotr Zielinski has made a name for himself as a midfielder in Serie A, also starting for Udinese and Empoli during his short career. Zielinski has been part of the international setup since 2009, having played in all of his country's junior teams from the U15's to the U21 side. He has so far made 29 appearances for Poland and plenty is expected of the young Pole in Russia.
Jan Bednarek (Defender)
While Bednarek has only made one senior appearance for the senior team, he is another player who has been involved in the national setup from an early age. His performances have been recognized by Southampton, who have produced some exceptional defenders over the past few seasons. If the Premier League club can assist Bednarek in reaching his potential, we could see great things from him and potentially a spot in the first XI at the World Cup.
The Coach - Adam Nawalka
The Polish-born manager made 34 appearances for his country during the golden era of Polish football and was nominated into the team of the tournament at the 1978 World Cup. He has led the Polish team since 2013, after a long career in managing club sides in his home country. He took the Poles to their first-ever European Championships quarter-final in 2016 and restored the nation to the World Cup with a strong showing throughout qualifying.
Poland's World Cup 2022 Lineup
Poland's latest international was a friendly match played against Mexico on November 13th, 2017. To gain an understanding of Poland's potential World Cup XI, we have gone back to their World Cup qualifier against Armenia, played on October 5th, 2017. The full lineup was as follows.
Starting Lineup (4-2-2-2)
Wojciech Szczesny (Juventus) - Bartosz Bereszynski (Sampdoria), Michal Pazdan (Legia Warsaw), Kamil Glik (Monaco), Lukasz Piszczek (Borussia Dortmund) - Karol Linetty (Sampdoria), Grzegorz Krychowiak (West Bromwich Albion) - Kamil Grosicki (Hull City), Jakub Blaszczykowski (Wolfsburg) - Piotr Zielinski (Napoli), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich).
Reserves: K Maczynski, M Kaminski, T Cionek, L Skorupski, K Wilczek, L Fabianski, M Makuszewski, L Teodorczyk, R Wolski, P Wszolek, T Kedziora, J Goralski.
Poland's World Cup History
Poland has appeared in seven of the twenty FIFA World Cup tournaments held to date and will participate for the eighth time when the 2018 event gets underway in June. Poland has experienced highs and lows at the World Cup, having finishing third on two occasions and also eliminated at the first stage three times.
The nation's first-ever World Cup appearance came in 1938 when the event was held in France. In this particular tournament, the format featured a knockout round right from the start, and Poland can claim to be the only country in history to be eliminated after one match despite scoring five goals. The match against Brazil finished 4-4 in regulation time, ending with a flurry of Polish chances as they fell 6-5 to the South Americans.
It took Poland 36 years to return to the World Cup - they did not enter the 1950 and 1954 tournaments and were unsuccessful in qualifying for the next four. When they did finally start, they performed exceptionally well, and the 1974 World Cup in West Germany will be remembered by Polish fans as their most successful of all time.
Poland won six out of their seven matches at the tournament, including all three in the first group stage. They defeated Argentina at their first World Cup match since 1938 and went on to beat Italy, Haiti, Sweden and Yugoslavia, before falling to the hosts in a fixture that would determine who would progress to the final. Poland defeated Brazil in the third-place playoff, gaining a small slice of revenge after their loss 36 years prior.
The 1974 World Cup was the first of four consecutive appearances by the Europeans, and it is safe to say that this was the best era in the nation's footballing history. They commenced the 1978 competition with a 0-0 draw against old foes West Germany, before defeating Tunisia and Mexico to finish top of their first group. Facing three South American teams in the second round, Poland managed to beat Peru but lost to Brazil and hosts Argentina to finish fifth overall.
Spain hosted the 1978 tournament, and Poland was successful once more. They topped their opening group that featured Italy, Cameroon and Peru, securing first place with a 5-1 thrashing of the South Americans after draws with their other opponents. Poland advanced to the semi-finals for the second time when they disposed of Belgium and drew with the Soviet Union to progress from the second round, although were defeated by Italy. They recorded another third-place finish with a win over France.
1986 was the beginning of the end for the strong Polish team of the 1970s and 1980s. The white and reds only scored one goal at the tournament, coming in their lone win against Portugal in the group stage. The format of the event allowed Poland to qualify for the Round of 16 despite finishing third behind Morocco and England, however old foes Brazil hammered the Poles 4-0 in what would be their last World Cup match for 16 years.
Poland's last two World Cup appearances came at the 2002 and 2006 events, and neither were memorable. Big losses to hosts South Korea and Portugal saw Poland eliminated before they could snare a consolation victory against the United States in 2002, while the Europeans drew the host for the second time in a row in Germany four years later, losing to them and Ecuador in another group stage exit.
It has been twelve long years for Polish supporters, but they finally find themselves back at the world's greatest sporting event. After blitzing the qualifying round in which they recorded eight wins and just one loss from their ten matches, there is plenty of optimism ahead of the 2018 World Cup, and their draw is certainly favourable. Could this be the year that Poland returns to their best?