Despite being regulars at the European Championships in recent years, Poland haven’t had the same fortune at the World Cup. While they were qualifying for four-straight European Championships, Poland have managed just one World Cup appearance in the past three tournaments, and they bowed out at the group stage in 2018.
Poland were given a tough group in trying to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar, placed alongside the likes of England, Albania and Hungary. But they managed to reach the play-offs with six wins, two draws and two defeats in their 10 games, finishing second behind England with a game to spare. Poland were then awarded a bye to the final and played a friendly against Scotland last week, drawing 1-1.
Sweden also sat out of the World Cup in 2010 and 2014 but reached the quarter-finals in 2018, where they were knocked out by England, their best finish since a third-place in 1994. But their route to Qatar hasn’t been an easy one.
Firstly, they were placed in a tough Group B alongside Spain and finished five points behind La Roja despite beating them 2-1 early in the campaign. But Sweden did only have themselves to blame, going into the final two rounds of fixtures one point clear of Spain before losing to Georgia and then Luis Enrique’s side. They then needed extra-time to beat Czech Republic in their play-off semi-final last week to set up this tie with Poland.
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Poland vs Sweden: Match Stats
It’ll be the battle of the strikers on Tuesday as Robert Lewandowski and Zlatan Ibrahimovic go head-to-head, and the Polish talisman may come out on top. Lewandowski is in fantastic form for Bayern Munich this season, scoring 45 goals in 37 games across all competitions.
Although the last meeting between these two brought five goals, this one should a lot tighter with a place in the World Cup on the line. And Sweden haven’t been the best in front of goal of late, failing to score inside 90 minutes in each of their past three matches.
10 September 2003 – Poland 0-2 Sweden – European Championship Qualifying
11 June 2003 – Sweden 3-0 Poland – European Championship Qualifying
9 October 1999 – Sweden 2-0 Poland – European Championship Qualifying
It’s less than a year since these two sides met at Euro 2020 in a thrilling encounter that Sweden edged 3-2 thanks to Viktor Claesson’s injury-time winner. Sweden are now unbeaten in eight games against Poland, winning seven, since a 2-0 friendly defeat way back in 1991.