As the Super Eagles prepare to take on Poland in an international friendly in Wroclaw on Friday, Completesportsnigeria.com’s JOHNNY EDWARD presents 5 Polish stars Gernot Rohr and his men must be wary of…
1. Robert Lewandowski
Robert Lewandowski is the captain of the Polish national team and he is unarguably the biggest star in the squad. The Polish star moved from Borussia Dortmund four years ago to Bayern Munich and has blossomed into one of the finest strikers in world football. He’s a clinical finisher who also brings his teammates into play. The 29 year old who has been named the Polish Player of the Year a record seven times has scored 32 goals in 37 games for Bayern this season and Leon Balogun who is expected to feature for the Super Eagles in defence knows what to expect when he comes up against Lewandowski. The last time both players met in the German Bundesliga earlier this season when Bayern Munich hosted Mainz, the Pole scored twice as the Bavarians won the encounter 4-0. The Pole has continued to score goals against the tightest defence this season and will, no doubt, be a threat to the Super Eagles on Friday.
2. Wojciech Szczesny
Wojciech Szczesny possesses an impressive record for Juventus this season despite playing second fiddle to Gianluca Buffon. The former Arsenal and Roma goalkeeper has kept 13 clean sheets in 17 games in all competitions for the top Serie A side conceding six times. The 27 year old’s wealth of experience in England and Italy has seen him being preferred to Swansea’s Lukas Fabianski and Artur Bour at Bournemouth in goal for the Polish national team. Super Eagles forwards must be in a killer mood like they were against Argentina to deny Szczesny his 15th clean sheet at international level.
3. Lukasz Piszczek
The 59-cap Poland international, Lukasz Piszczek is fit again and in top form once more. Piszczek has been an influential player for Borussia Dortmund this season. Since his return from knee ligament injury the 32-year old right wing-back has helped Peter Stöger’s team to an 11 game unbeaten streak. Piszczek’s record this season with Dortmund reads 16 appearances, 10 wins, six draws and zero defeats. The Super Eagles attackers will need to bring their A-game to outdo Lukasz on the day.
4, Jakub Błaszczykowski
The VfL Wolfsburg midfielder, Jakub Błaszczykowski is in the twilight of his career with the Polish national team but he remains a key figure for them despite being plagued with injuries this season at club level. The 32-year old, short of game time with Wolfsburg with a goal in seven games is an awesome midfielder and will cause Nigeria problems once he gets into his rhythm. The former Borussia Dortmund star, Błaszczykowski will be looking to score his 20th goal for Poland when he makes his 98th appearance against Nigeria come Friday.
5, Grzegorz Krychowiak
Currently on a season-long loan at West Brom from PSG, Grzegorz Krychowiak offers shield to the defence line of the Polish team. Krychowiak is good at breaking the rhythm of play of opposing teams and launching swift counter attacks with his long range passes. For West Brom this season, the 28 year old has completed 568 passes with a pass accuracy of 80%, of which 82% were forward passes. With the Super Eagles influential skipper, Mikel Obi out of the clash against Poland, Krychowiak will be out to stop either of Alex Iwobi or Kelechi Iheanacho who are expected to fill in for Mikel in the No.10 role.