Figure 1 Will Poland fans be happy in Qatar?
It all got a little bit nervous towards the end of the campaign, but Poland finally qualified for the World Cup by beating Sweden in the play-off final at the end of March. But that performance only raised more questions about how the team will get on in Qatar.
Plenty will be written about the team before then – and betting sites will have already started offering odds on who will win the World Cup. So, it must be time to watch the repeat of old tournaments, read a Bovada review so you know all about the betting options, and then research our group stage opponents. All so we can answer the question – can Poland win the World Cup this year?
The State of Play
Finishing second behind England in the qualifying group was nothing to be embarrassed about. But the team selection and performance against Hungary in the final game certainly was – making it much harder to get through the play-offs. It was only the one game in the end – and a decisive win over Sweden saw us through.
That came after Paulo Sousa had quit – bringing some happiness to some Polish fans – and Czeslaw Michniewicz took over. He has struggled to come up with a definite plan but has assured everyone that he is planning for a range of opponents. We will see when the World Cup kicks off in November.
First up in Qatar is what will be a tough game against Mexico. They are an experienced World Cup team that will want to prove that it belongs in the later stages of the tournament. With only two going through from the group, a draw at least is probably needed.
After that comes Saudi Arabia. Although they will be more accustomed to the hot and dry conditions in Qatar, this is a game that Poland must win. A clash with Argentina rounds off the group stage for Poland and no one will be wanting to be going into that one needing all three points.
What Would Come Next?
Obviously, what happens next depends on how those three group games go. But if Poland does finish either first or second, we will face the runners-up or winners of group D. That will be one of France, Denmark, Australia or Tunisia. It is more likely that it will be one of the two European teams.
If we assume that France will win the group it means that Poland will need to win its group to face Denmark. But that is hardly an easy task in itself after the way that the Scandinavians have performed at the last few tournaments. Michniewicz has his work cut out preparing this squad to make it further than the round of 16.
Figure 2 It is not just the heat and humidity that Poland will have to deal with in Qatar
As usual, everything really depends on the form and performance of Robert Lewandowski. The good news there is that any uncertainty over where he will be playing has vanished with his signing for Barcelona. A good first half of the season in La Liga could set him up nicely for an unforgettable World Cup.
There may still be a question over where Piotr Zielinski is playing at the moment as well. But all that will be sorted by the time the tournament comes around at the end of the year. Some positive results from the Nations League fixtures scheduled for September would soon raise the spirits too.
Can Poland Win the World Cup?
Although any true Poland fan will be hoping that this squad can win a first major international trophy, actually lifting the World Cup in Qatar is a very tough task. Progressing from the group will be expected but the knockout rounds will be very tough.
Making it as far as the quarterfinal stage should probably be seen as an achievement, with anything else a bonus. A good start to the competition is the most important thing – and for Lewandowski to do what he does best for the national side.