Poland come into the tournament as something of an unknown quantity under Portuguese manager Paulo Sousa, something which could play into their favour in what is likely to be a tight Group E with Spain, Sweden and Slovakia.
Jerzy Brzeczek was sacked despite a near flawless qualifying campaign and replaced by Sousa, who swapped out a defensively dogged 4-2-3-1 for his more free-flowing wingback system during 2022 World Cup qualifying in March, which produced a 3-3 draw with Hungary and a narrow defeat to England at Wembley.
If Sousa sticks with his system then it is likely to throw up fun results, not least because it ensures a potent attacking pairing with Fifa’s reigning world player of the year, the captain Robert Lewandowski, alongside another one of his striker options, most likely Napoli’s Arkadiusz Milik who finished the season well on loan at Marseille.
As ever, the challenge is to supply the front line and particularly Lewandowski, the country’s all-time top goalscorer with 66 from 118 caps, with the chances to hurt their opposition. Napoli’s Piotr Zielinski will provide much of the creative thrust from midfield.
Hopes are high for more progress than their disappointing group stage exit at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and a base made up of defenders like the experienced Kamil Glik and Southampton’s Jan Bednarek in front of Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny provides a foundation to build from. Poland’s final group game, against Sweden in St Petersburg, could well be crucial to their fortunes if they are to advance to the knockout stages and make their mark on Euro 2020.
(All times BST)
Poland vs Slovakia: St Petersburg, 14 June, 5pm
Spain vs Poland: Seville, 19 June, 8pm
Sweden vs Poland: St Petersburg, 23 June, 5pm
Goalkeepers: Łukasz Fabiański (West Ham), Łukasz Skorupski (Bologna), Wojciech Szczęsny (Juventus).
Defenders: Jan Bednarek (Southampton), Bartosz Bereszyński (Sampdoria), Kamil Glik (Benevento), Michał Helik (Barnsley), Tomasz Kędziora (Dynamo Kyiv), Kamil Piątkowski (Raków Częstochowa), Tymoteusz Puchacz (Lech Poznań), Maciej Rybus (Lokomotiv Moskva).
Midfielders: Paweł Dawidowicz (Verona), Przemysław Frankowski (Chicago Fire), Kamil Jóźwiak (Derby), Mateusz Klich (Leeds), Kacper Kozłowski (Pogoń Szczecin), Grzegorz Krychowiak (Lokomotiv Moskva), Karol Linetty (Torino), Jakub Moder (Brighton), Przemysław Płacheta (Norwich), Piotr Zieliński (Napoli).
Forwards: Dawid Kownacki (Fortuna Düsseldorf), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern), Arkadiusz Milik (Marseille), Karol Świderski (PAOK), Jakub Świerczok (Piast Gliwice).
Ones to watch
Star man: Robert Lewandowski ( Bayern Munich)
He may be 32 but Lewandowski comes into the tournament on the back his best scoring season in the Bundesliga with 41 goals, and he remains Poland’s man to stop.
Breakout talent: Jakub Moder (Brighton)
The 22-year-old began to feature in Graham Potter’s Brighton side towards the end of the Premier League season, showing glimpses of his all-round game and composure on the ball, and he should get the chance to shine in midfield at the Euros.
Poland to win Euro 2020: 80/1
Poland’s first task is to get out of the tricky Group E and if they can do so, they have the weapons to hurt any side. They are an unpredictable force in the competition with a new manager and shape, but that could play in their favour. Expect them to progress to the last 16, at least.
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