After Tuesdays, the 2022/23 Uefa Nations League group stage will be two thirds of the way through with teams returning for the remaining two fixtures in September, and both Poland and Belgium will be hoping to remain in the hunt for a spot in next year’s finals. The two sides are level on four points after three matches, three behind leaders Netherlands after an interesting start to Group A4.
Poland opened their campaign with a 2-1 win over Wales, who understandably had other things on their mind preparing for a World Cup qualifying play-off, which put them in a decent position. However, they followed that up with a 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Belgium, a return to reality and a reminder of the toughness of their group. But in their next game, Poland were the team dishing out the reminders, going 2-0 up against Netherlands before eventually being pulled back to draw 2-2, being the first side to take points off the Oranje.
But Poland sit third in their group, behind second-placed Belgium on goal difference (thanks to that 6-1 mauling). Belgium’s thumping win was the perfect remedy for a heavy defeat of their own, losing their opening game 4-1 to the Netherlands which saw them concede three goals in just under 15 second-half minutes. After turning on the style against Poland, Belgium also drew their third game, conceding an 86th-minute goal to be held 1-1 by Wales – passing up the opportunity to move one point behind the Netherlands.
And Belgium will go into this game without creative maestro Kevin De Bruyne, as well as Yannick Carrasco and Thomas Meunier, who have all been sent home to rest.
“De Bruyne has given enough, so has Carrasco,” Roberto Martinez said after Belgium’s draw with Wales.
“Meunier played two games in quick succession after not playing for three months. We can’t force anyone.”
“I have played three matches for almost 90 minutes. Physically I am okay and I would have liked to play the last game against Poland, but it is the decision of the coach,” De Bruyne said of his absence.
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Poland vs Belgium match stats
Romelu Lukaku is injured which means Robert Lewandowski has the stage to himself as an elite international striker and you can bet he’ll be giving his all to lift Poland above Belgium in their group. The Bayern Munich striker (for how long though) has had two shots on target in his two Nations League games so far but is expected to be busy against Belgium.
Just one look at the previous meeting between these two sides will promise goals as neither Belgium nor Poland are exactly secure at the back. Between them they have scored 13 goals in the Nations League so far but conceded 15, with both sides yet to keep a clean sheet.
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17 October 2007 – Poland 2-0 Belgium – Euro 2008 Qualifiers
15 October 2006 – Belgium 0-1 Poland – Euro 2008 Qualifiers
30 April 2004 – Belgium 3-1 Poland – International Friendly
21 August 2002 – Poland 1-1 Belgium – International Friendly
Last week’s meeting was the first between Belgium and Poland for almost 15 years and saw the Red Devils score more goals than they had managed in the previous five combined. The two sides are now tied on seven wins each in this fixture, with six draws.
Where are Belgium and Poland tipped to finish in Group A4?
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