Poland faces Sweden in St Petersburg. Only win can keep the dream alive

TVN24 News in English, Reuters
Polish fans celebrate their team's draw against Spain in Seville
Polish fans celebrate their team's draw against Spain in SevilleTVN24
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TVN24Polish fans celebrate their team's draw against Spain in Seville

Poland coach Paulo Sousa has made one change to his side for their must-win Group E clash against Sweden in St Petersburg, bringing in midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak for Jakub Moder, who has been suffering from a knee issue.

Sweden coach Janne Andersson has made his first change of the tournament to his starting XI, selecting striker Robin Quaison ahead of Marcus Berg.

Berg came in for criticism after missing a simple chance in their opening scoreless draw with Spain, while Quaison came off the bench and won the penalty that decided their 1-0 victory over Slovakia in their second group game.

The Poles are bottom of the group on one point and a win would see them through, while the Swedes, who are top on four points, have already secured advancement and will be looking for a victory to go through as group winners.

Sweden: Robin Olsen; Mikael Lustig, Victor Lindelof, Ludwig Augustinsson, Marcus Danielson; Sebastian Larsson (captain), Albin Ekdal, Emil Forsberg, Kristoffer Olsson, Robin Quaison; Alexander Isak

Poland: Wojciech Szczęsny, Bartosz Bereszyński, Kamil Glik, Jan Bednarek, Tymoteusz Puchacz, Kamil Jóźwiak, Grzegorz Krychowiak, Mateusz Klich, Piotr Zieliński, Karol Świderski, Robert Lewandowski (captain).

"Focus like it's the final"

Poland coach Paulo Sousa says his team's decisive Euro 2020 Group E clash against Sweden will require his players to focus as if they were playing for the trophy itself.

After losing their opening game to Slovakia 2-1, Poland got their campaign back on track with a 1-1 draw against Spain, and must now beat Sweden to reach the knockout stages.

"For us this is a final and we need to focus as if it was a final," Sousa told reporters on Tuesday.

"We want to have the same mentality everywhere, when we play at home, when we play abroad."

That could be also helped by the team's fans who travelled in large numbers to St Petersburg and Seville and could be heard by the players throughout the games against Slovakia and Spain.

"Fans are vital, looking at the examples of Hungary and Denmark," Sousa said. "We never feel (like) playing away."

Poland drew with Spain on Saturday evening while Sweden defeated Slovakia on Friday afternoon, leaving Sousa's team with 30 hours less recovery time.

"Some players are not completely recovered," the coach said. "Mentally against Spain we spent a lot of energy."

Sweden have played seven games this year, winning six and conceding only one goal. They are already guaranteed a spot in the knockout stages and are aiming to finish as group winners.

"Numbers say many things about Sweden," Sousa said. "Sweden know how to keep the ball, how to counter-attack... They are rich tactically. I don't think Sweden are relaxed."

Poland central midfielder Mateusz Klich agreed with his coach.

"It seems to me that they will not let us go," Klich said. "If we carry out our plan, everything should be fine."


Źródło: TVN24 News in English, Reuters

Źródło zdjęcia głównego: TVN24

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