Even though the performances and results of Czech footballers in qualifying for Euro 2024 are far from ideal, their Polish opponent today is even worse. Even if the Czechs lost in Warsaw, they would still have direct promotion to Germany on their hands. The Poles absolutely must win, if only to silence the strong wave of criticism.
Even though the Poles didn’t dazzle with their play at the World Cup a year ago, they still reached the top 16 in Qatar and should have been the clear favorites in Group E before the start of the tournament cycle. European qualification.
However, they entered with a heavy 1-3 defeat in Letná and since then have only beaten Albania once and the Faroe Islands twice.
They must therefore succeed in their last appearance in the group at home against the Czech Republic and then build on their hesitations against Moldova.
It is much more likely that they will only fight for the European Championship in March in the play-offs for the best non-qualified teams from the Nations League.
It’s already a shame for the Poles. “It looks miserable,” assessed the situation in an interview for the TVP Sport website, former representative Grzegorz Lato, double bronze medalist at the 1974 and 1982 World Championships and top scorer in the first of these championships.
Even though Polish players participate in national team matches of absolutely top clubs like Barcelona, Arsenal, Juventus or Napoli, their interaction within the national team is pitiful.
In September, Portuguese coach Fernando Santos was fired and Michal Probierz moved from the Polish twenty-one team to his position.
It started with a victory in the Faroe Islands, but after a draw at home against the Moldovans, the Poles fell back into a desperate situation.
“When I was in the national team, the eagle on the chest meant something to us. Now I feel like players go to the national team just to play and then come back to the club,” complained Lato.
“Sometimes I see team members getting off the bus with headphones on and passing kids waiting for an autograph. It looks ridiculous,” he continued.
He is also bothered by the fact that the Poles painted the situation rosy during the qualification. “When I see what some players say or how some journalists and experts talk about it, I sometimes have to hold back so as not to burst out laughing,” he said.
He at least likes the commitment of Probierz, who started the process of generational change within the national team, but before the match against the Czech Republic, Lato is not very optimistic. “The Czechs don’t suit us,” he said.
The Czechs won against Poland in the last three competitive matches – in March in Letná, at Euro 2012 in Poland, where the decision was made on promotion and non-promotion of the group, as well as in qualifying before the 2010 World Cup.
“I am extremely afraid of the match against the Czechs,” said former national team defender Michal Kozminski in an interview with Przeglad Sportowy.
Although Robert Lewandowski, Polish record holder for the number of starts (144) and goals scored (81), returned to the national team after injury, Kozminski does not like the omission of striker Arkadiusz Milik from Juventus .
“Poland is not Brazil, Argentina or France. We cannot afford to leave Juventus players at home. Also, when Lewandowski is not playing well and Kamil Swiderski is not playing well “, commented Kozminski.
“We will have to attack and take risks, but we are weak defensively. As a team and individually. That is why I am worried about the outcome of the match,” he added.
Czech midfielder Tomáš Přikryl, who plays for Warta Poznaň in Poland, confirmed in an interview with ČTK that the football public does not have much confidence in the Poles ahead of the duel with their neighbors.
“They treat us with respect. When I talk to the boys or people around me, they say that it will definitely be for the Czech Republic. But the Poles are a proud nation. They are not resigned, they will not want to leave it TO DO.” go ahead and give it to us,” Přikryl stressed.
The match at the National Stadium in Warsaw in front of less than 60,000 spectators starts at 8:45 p.m. and you can also watch it on Aktuálně.cz via online text transmission.
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