England travels to Warsaw on Tues. Oct. 16th to take on Poland in a big Group H World Cup qualifying game. England is coming off of a 5-0 win at home at Wembley over San Marino on Friday and leads the group with seven points from two wins and a draw. Poland is in second place with a win and a draw for four points. However, there are several players out with injury for England manager Roy Hodgson, including Frank Lampard and Ryan Bertrand of Chelsea and Arsenal’s Theo Walcott. The good news is that defender Glen Johnson and his Liverpool teammate Steven Gerrard are back from suspension.
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Poland manager Waldemar Fornalik will have to make do without his captain as Jakub Blaszczykowski injured his ankle while playing in a league game with Borussia Dortmund of the German Bundesliga. Also, they’re hurting in goal as keepers Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski, both who play for Arsenal in the English Premier League, are injured and it looks like Przemyslaw Tyton will be playing in between the goal posts. In doesn’t stop there though, as Eugen Polanski might also have to sit out due to personal reasons.
England has been pretty successful against Poland over the years and has beaten them 10 times on their 17 meetings. They have played to six draws and Poland has managed to win just one of the games. The first and only time Poland managed to beat an England side was back in 1973 when they came out as 2-0 victors. Poland co-hosted the European Championships this summer (Euro 2012) with Ukraine, but didn’t manage to get out of their group. Fornalik took over the manager’s job after the tournament and he’s hoping to get the team back on the right track.
He hasn’t done a bad job so far as Poland has beaten Moldova at home by a score of 2-0 and also earned a point in an away draw 2-2 at Montenegro. However, England’s about 50 places above them in FIFA’s ranking and will definitely be a tougher test. Over the years England has outscored Poland 27 to 10. This isn’t a guaranteed win for the Three Lions though. They’ve beaten San Marino at home so far and also played to a 1-1 draw at Wembley against Ukraine. Their other win was a 5—0 drubbing of Moldova on the road.
Wayne Rooney scored twice against San Marino and he’s now got 31 goals for his country which puts him in fifth place in all-time team scoring. Rooney has 31 in 77 games while Bobby Charlton holds the scoring record with 49 in 106 matches. One of England’s hottest scorers though is Jermain Defoe of Tottenham Hotspur with 17 goals in his past 19 starts.
Poland has two wins, two draws and a loss in their last five games and England has three wins and two draws. This isn’t going to be an easy game for England by any means. They have a bad habit of giving the ball away and trying to walk the ball into the net instead of shooting. They shouldn’t lose the game, but it’s possible that Poland holds them to a draw.
The latest odds for the game at sportsbook Bet365 show an England win at evens with a Poland victory at 10/3 and a draw at 2/1.