Poland vs Iceland Prediction
This Tuesday, Poland vs Iceland will be our featured match-up, as they look to prime themselves for a successful summer at Euros.
HISTORY: Poland and Iceland have clashed six times, with the Polish leading the series 5-0-1. In their last international friendly, Poland picked up the win, 4-2.
Iceland: Tale of the Tape
Projected XI: Kristinsson; Sampsted, Hermannsson, Ingi Bjarnason, Fridriksson; Bodvarsson, Bjarnason, Gunnarsson, Johannesson, Gudmundsson; Sigborsson
Euro 2016‘s Cinderella story won’t be able to add another chapter this summer, but what a run it was for Iceland. The infamous Viking Thunder Clap was legendary, but a large chunk of that Euro 2016 team has moved on or been omitted from this summer’s squad. This friendly will give them a chance to gain a bit of momentum with World Cup Qualifiers approaching.
Arnar Vidarsson’s team will be missing key cog Gylfi Sigurdsson, which will be painful. The Everton midfielder scored at Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup. Iceland holds a lot of unknowns, but the returns of Birkir Bjarnason and Albert Gudmundsson should help ease the loss, as they both played well in a 2-1 loss to Mexico last month.
Poland: Tale of the Tape
Projected XI: Szczensy; Helik, Glik, Bednarek; Bereszynski, Zielinski, Krychowiak, Moder, Rybus; Lewandowski, Milik
Poland will look to follow up on their Euro 2016 quarterfinal appearance with an even deeper run this year. The return of Golden Boot winner Robert Lewandowski should do wonders for Paulo Sousa’s front line. The Bayern Munich forward had a stellar campaign, netting 48 goals across all competitions and capturing his first Golden Shoe Award in the process. The loss of Arkadiusz Milik to injury will sting, though. The Marseille striker scored Poland’s first goal during their run to the quarter-finals of Euro 2016.
Milik’s absence will put a bit more pressure on Lewa to produce this summer, but despite their recent form, Poland bolsters a strong squad. Piast Gliwice forward Jakub Swierczok looks slated to slide in Milik’s role after scoring in last month’s draw with Russia. Longtime midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak is set to make his 71st cap, which is third-most all-time for the Polish. Jakub Błaszczykowski’s presence will be missed.
Southampton’s Jan Bednarek highlights the backline, and he scored the winning goal against Japan at the 2018 World Cup. Wojcjech Szczesny completed another solid season with Juventus, and he’ll make his 52nd appearance in goal for Poland.
Players to Watch
The 2019-2020 UEFA Player of the Year‘s potency will give Poland a chance to win big this summer. Defending Euro champions Portugal and perennial powers like Germany and France will be challenging, but the play of Lewandowski could allow them to crash the party. This could be Lewa’s summer.
If Iceland is going to have a shot in this one, Bjarnason will have to make an impact on both sides of the ball. Bjarnason is Iceland’s longest tenure player, and after scoring the country’s first-ever goal in a major tournament, he’ll be looked upon for leadership on the pitch.
Poland vs Iceland Prediction & Pick
A win here would be huge for Poland’s morale. They’re blessed to have one of the best finishers in the world in Lewandowski, and as we saw with Portugal at Euro 2016, that star power will always represent a fighting chance. This will be Poland’s final chance to tune up before Euros, and they can get back on the right path with a win over an Iceland team that will be missing the tournament. Bet on Poland to win and potentially cover their spread.
Prediction: Poland 2 – Iceland 0