Defending world champions France will try to avoid overconfidence when they take on Poland in the pre-quarterfinals of the World Cup on Sunday. France coach Didier Deschamps has warned his team players not to underestimate Poland and their veteran player Robert Lewandowski. The team had to face defeat in the last match of the group stage against a relatively weak team like Tunisia.
In this match, however, Deschamps rested his star players. Team stalwarts like Adrien Rabiot, Kylian Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele and Antoine Griezmann entered the field in the last minutes of the match. In such a situation, the top players of France will enter this match with less fatigue and will be a contender for victory against Poland. France has won five preliminary round matches since the introduction of the knockout stage in the 1986 World Cup. Poland’s team has reached the knockout round for the first time in 36 years.
The team finished third in the 1982 World Cup, beating France, and 51 days later recorded another victory against them in a friendly match. The Polish team never succeeded in defeating France after this. The team would like to end the wait of 40 years by defeating France in the World Cup. The last match between the two teams was played in 2011. “It is not a team we are used to playing against,” said the France coach. They have experienced players. If one name stands out, it is Lewandowski, he is one of the best strikers in the world. But there are other great players in the team.” Poland’s biggest strength is its goalkeeper Wojciech Szczecny.
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Szczęsny made excellent penalty saves against Saudi Arabia and Argentina. Against Argentina, he managed to stop the great Lionel Messi’s kick. He has saved 18 goals in this tournament, more than any other goalkeeper. Lewandowski said that the match against France will be tough but the team will try their best. He said, “It is a big achievement for us to reach the round of 16. It will be tough against France, we will need to stay focused.