England v Poland preview

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England face Poland at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday 31 March as they look to continue a 100% winning start to their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign. This will be the third game in nine games for the Three Lions, and certainly their most testing one. However, doubts about the involvement of Poland’s top marksman, Robert Lewandowski, will give Gareth Southgate a boost.

England hope to continue a perfect start  

England beat San Marino 5-0 last week to begin their qualifying campaign with little fuss. Goals from James Ward-Prowse, Raheem Sterling, a Dominic Calvert-Lewin brace, and a debut goal for Ollie Watkins, made sure Gareth Southgate’s men avoided any banana skins in a game they were expected to win comfortably.

The Three Lions followed up that success with a solid 2-0 win in Tirana on Sunday evening against Albania. Despite a slow and sticky pitch, England played well and secured all three-points thanks to goals from Harry Kane and Mason Mount.

Southgate continues to tweak his formation, but he is sure to go with a strong team to face the Poles, with Kane leading the line again.

Poland began their campaign unbeaten

Poland began their World Cup qualifying campaign with a tricky tie in Budapest against Hungary. The Poles found themselves 2-0 down after an hour, but two quick fire goals from Krzysztof Piatek and Kamil Jozwiak drew them level. They then went 3-2 behind with 10 minutes to play, but Robert Lewandowski equalised again to secure a 3-3 draw.

Poland then faced Andorra in Warsaw on Sunday and ran out comfortable 3-0 winners. Lewandowski was again on the score sheet with a brace, with Kamil Grosicki also netting late on.

That leaves the Poles in second place on four points, two points behind the early group leaders, England.

Previous head-to-heads

Poland will arrive at Wembley looking for only a second ever win against England. The Poles last beat the Three Lions in 1973 but have failed to win against them since.

England have won their last seven meetings against Poland at Wembley, including when they last met in the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign with Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard getting the goals that night.

The stats

England will hope to keep a 16-game unbeaten run going against Poland, and a 23-game World Cup qualifying unbeaten run intact. England have dominated this fixture over recent years they have scored during both halves in six of the last nine games against the Poles.

Even if Lewandowski doesn’t line up at Wembley, Poland will still possess a threat as they have only failed to score in four of their last 14 away games. Poland have also scored two or three goals in four of their previous six away fixtures, but they have conceded a first half opening goal in three consecutive away games.

England will go into the game as favourites as they attempt to take another step towards the winter World Cup in Qatar next year.

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