France vs Poland: Match Preview

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France face Poland in their round of 16 game, as both nations look to bounce back to winning ways having lost their final group stage fixture heading into the tie this Sunday. Amongst the favourites to be crowned World Champions this tournament, France will be keen on performing to the best of their ability whilst Poland will be looking to cause an upset after edging Mexico on goal difference to qualify for the knockout stage of the competition behind Argentina.

Having been amongst the impressive sides this tournament, Didier Deschamps’ French squad will be looking to retain their crown moving forward into the competition. Moreover, managing to secure victories in each of their last five round of 16 ties at the World Cup, France remains amongst the strongest contenders for the title, with the team having already proven their potential to perform in this tournament.

On the other hand, needing to deliver a notable performance if they are to qualify for the quarter-final stages of the competition, Poland will be keen on performing to their potential on Sunday. Despite having marginally qualified for the knockout stages, Czeslaw Michniewicz’s side will be looking to remain disciplined in their approach alongside being optimistic for a positive result.

When & Where?

Venue: Al-Thumama Stadium.
Date: Sunday, 4th December 2022.
Time: 15:00 GMT.

Team News

France

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Deschamps is expected to name his strongest side on Sunday after the manager granted a rest to numerous big names in their final group-stage fixture against Tunisia. Alphonse Areola and Theo Hernandez are expected to be return to the squad with the latter likely to be named in the starting line-up despite a minor ankle injury sustained during training on Friday.

Olivier Giroud is expected to lead the line as the striker looks to break Thierry Henry’s all-time goal-scoring record for the men’s national team while all of Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, and Aurelien Tchouameni are expected to return to the starting line-up facing Poland.

Poland

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Michniewicz too is expected to retain his strongest squad against France, although the potential of picking up yellow cards could see numerous players miss out on the quarterfinals provided Poland secure qualification for the same. Robert Lewandowski is expected to lead the line while either Arkadiusz Milik or Krzysztof Piatek are likely to be named as the second striker on Sunday.

Match Analysis

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Expected to produce a compelling match-up on the pitch, France will be keen on remaining dominant throughout the game whilst Poland will be looking to remain competitive in their approach and application on Sunday.

Amongst the strongest sides on paper, France will be keen on retaining control of possession, with the players expected to aim at finding the back of the net as quickly as possible against Poland. Possessing super quality in personnel across the pitch alongside having been dominant in their victories this tournament, Deschamps is likely to employ a balanced approach aimed at testing the Polish defence whilst utilising the space across the final third in retaining possession higher up the pitch on Sunday.

Meanwhile, needing to remain disciplined in their approach, Poland will be keen on testing the French resolve on Sunday. Boasting a number of talented attackers, the team will be looking to make the best of their goal-scoring opportunities alongside remaining imposing in their defensive organisation. Additionally, likely to remain balanced in their approach, Poland will be aiming to dominate phases of play in a bid to test the French defence.

Key Players

Kylian Mbappe – France

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Having netted three goals in the tournament hitherto, Mbappe is expected to remain amongst the players most likely to find the back of the net on Sunday. Having proven to be a menace for defenders in recent outings, the star forward will be keen on helping his nation secure a comfortable result against Poland.

Robert Lewandowski – Poland

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Significant to Poland’s prospects on Sunday, Lewandowski’s impact is likely to prove pivotal in determining the team’s potential to find the back of the net against France. Although having found the back of the net only once this tournament, the striker’s well-rounded ability is expected to test the French defence on the pitch.

Predicted Lineups

France predicted lineup vs Poland: Hugo Lloris; Jules Kounde, Raphael Varane, Dayot Upamecano, Theo Hernandez; Aurelien Tchouameni, Adrien Rabiot; Ousmane Dembele, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe; Olivier Giroud.

Poland predicted lineup vs France: Wojciech Szczęsny; Matty Cash, Kamil Glik, Jakub Kiwior, Bartosz Bereszyński; Piotr Zieliński, Krystian Bielik, Grzegorz Krychowiak, Przemysław Frankowski; Robert Lewandoski, Arkadiusz Milik.

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