Gareth Southgate's side look to make it three wins in a row in World Cup 2022 qualifying but face a tough test against Poland
by Craig Humpage
Football Writer, Sporticos
Published on Tuesday 30 March 2021
The international break comes to an end on Wednesday when England host Poland at Wembley Stadium. On the back of two comfortable wins last week, the Three Lions will be confident going into this. Poland picked up an easy win at the weekend but will be without their talisman Robert Lewandowski who limped off with a knee injury. While this could seem like fantastic news for Gareth Southgate and his men, they will probably want to test themselves as much as possible ahead of this summer's Euros and so it's a bit of a double edged sword. If they are looking for a competitive fixture, the good news is that Poland still possess a wealth of attacking talent even without the Bayern Munich striker and England's defence will need to be on red alert.
England vs Poland (Preview)
To the surprise of no-one, England bulldozed San Marino to a 5-0 victory in their opening fixture and comfortably got pas slightly better opposition in Albania with a 2-0 win in their last match, putting them well on the way to qualify for next year's World Cup in Qatar. Southgate experimented with some fringe players but captain Harry Kane was pivotal as always. This game will present a much bigger challenge for them, especially at the back as Poland have a lot more to offer than San Marino or Albania. Even in the absence of Robert Lewandowski, they have some fantastic talent going forward and will not be taken lightly.
The Poles had a scare in their 3-3 draw against Hungary, clawing back after going behind twice. Hungary are by no means minnows but with arguably the best player in the world in his side, Paolo Souza would have been disappointed with his opening game in charge. They bounced back to dispatch Andorra 3-0 in their last game but the victory was clouded by the injury to their star striker which definitely left many hearts in mouths in Poland and Munich.
England vs Poland (Team News)
Aside from Lewandowski, Poland don't have any injury doubts. Arkadiusz Milik and Krzysztof Piatek will likely form an attacking partnership in the absence of Lewandowski. Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny could be in for a long night when he faces Harry Kane and will be looking to impress. For England, left back Bukayo Saka and forward Marcus Rashford are expected to miss out through injury. Luke Shaw continued his impressive form this season and should keep Ben Chilwell out of the starting 11 once again. Nick Pope is likely to play in goal ahead of Sam Johnstone and Dean Henderson, as he increasingly looks to be England's number one ahead of the Euros this summer. Had Bayern Munich striker Lewandowski been fit Southgate's lineup might have looked very different but in light of that news he will probably stick with a similar team to the one which beat Albania.
England vs Poland (Prediction)
This is quite a tough one to predict. Of course the Poles will be less dangerous without their best player but they still have a lot of quality going forward. Milik, Zielinski and Piatek can cause anyone problems and England will need to work very hard to keep them at bay. On the other hand, the Three Lions could line up with the likes of Kane, Sterling and Sancho which would terrify just about any defender. If England can keep it tight at the back, move the ball quickly and look to find space in behind the Polish backline, they should get the better of them. England haven't lost a qualifier at Wembley in 29 outings and Poland's only victory against England in 19 attempts came in 1973. If I were a betting man, I'd say England will come out on top but it's not a foregone conclusion. Any England fan knows that calamity can strike at any moment and if it does, they can easily be beaten here.
Prediction: England 3-1 Poland
How to watch England vs Poland on live TV
England host Poland at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday 31 March 2021 at 19:45 GMT behind closed doors due to coronavirus restrictions. The game will be broadcast on free-to-air television in the UK. You can watch it on ITV 1 with coverage starting with build up and analysis at 19:15.
How to watch England vs Poland online
If you prefer, you can stream the match live via the ITV Hub. You can get the app on your mobile devices like smartphones or tablets, or you can watch on their website with a desktop PC or laptop. Anyone can get the app for free. It is very user friendly and widely available. As always, all you need is a TV license to legally live stream this content.
Click here to learn more about ITV Hub.
Elsewhere in World Cup qualifying this week
As the international break draws to a close and football fans everywhere get excited about the return of domestic football in the Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, etc, here are the most interesting European World Cup qualifiers from the last round of this international break and where to watch them.
On Tuesday: Before we get to England vs Poland, there are some other matches worth checking out. The pick of the bunch for Brits will of course be Wales' game against Czech Republic. The Czechs are on the rise and will present a real challenge for Gareth Bale and co. Elsewhere, Malta really impressed in their draw with Slovakia and will hope to pull off an even bigger miracle against Croatia. Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal are always one to watch. The previous winners and current European Champions go away to Luxembourg, the team who humbled the Republic of Ireland on Saturday.
Tuesday 30 March 2021
|19:45||Croatia vs Malta||Sky Sports Red Button|
|19:45||Gibraltar vs Netherlands||Sky Sports Premier League|
|19:45||Luxembourg vs Portugal||Sky Sports Red Button|
|19:45||Montenegro vs Norway||Sky Sports Red Button|
|19:45||Wales vs Czech Republic||S4C / Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Ultra HD|
On Wednesday: Aside from England's game against Poland, there are two other home nations playing qualifiers on Wednesday. Northern Ireland are without a win in seven and will be hoping to bounce back when they host Bulgaria. Scotland will hope to go from two draws to their first win in qualifying when they welcome the Faroe Islands. World Champions France will be amongst the favourites in next year's World Cup in Qatar, along with Belgium and Brazil, and they face Bosnia-Herzegovina in one of the most competitive matches of the round.
Wednesday 31 March 2021
|19:45||Austria vs Denmark||Sky Sports Red Button|
|19:45||Bosnia-Herzegovina vs France||Sky Sports Premier League|
|19:45||England vs Poland||ITV / ITV Hub|
|19:45||Northern Ireland vs Bulgaria||Sky Sports Football|
|19:45||Scotland vs Faroe Islands||Sky Sports Main Event|
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