Poland are a team that must surely be feared, with a qualifying campaign that included a comprehensive 2-0 win against the World Cup holders Germany and just 1 defeat, Poland will be heading to Euro 2016 with high hopes of making a huge impact.
As a whole Poland have a poor record in the European Championships. They have qualified twice before in the two events preceding Euro 2016. In 2008 they first qualified and finished bottom of the group and then repeated the same fate in 2012 when they only qualified by virtue of being joint hosts, that being said neither of those side were in the form of the current one or had the strength in depth that this current side possess.
Robert Lewandowski is the player that leaps off the team sheet, his goals for Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund speak for their themselves, but perhaps the biggest asset that he gives his side is that of experience on the big stage. Lewandowski was the first and so far only man to score 4 goals in a Champions League Semi-final in 2013 when Dortmund beat Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid 4-1, and he's since played in the following Final as well as winning various domestic competitions.
As you look further down the team sheet you will continue to find more high quality players, whether that is the Fiorentina and former Dortmund star Jakub Blaszczykowski or one of the Bundesligas top defenders in Lukasz Piszczek, Poland definitely have the ammunition to be a serious force in Euro 2016.
Winning Euro 2016 may just be beyond Poland but anything other than the big prize is very much achievable. Drawn in Group C Poland will surely get through what seems a fairly mediocre group with the exception of Germany, and then approach the knockout stages full of confidence, if Lewandoswki can get of the mark early in the tournament - Poland will be very difficult to stop.
From a betting angle we certainly wouldn't back against Poland in any of the opening matches and then again in the knockout stages. If we were to be bold then an each way bet @ 66/1 is more than winnable given their recent form and the goalscoring threats within the squad.
|Austria / Switzerland||2008||Group Stage||14|
|Poland / Ukraine||2012||Group Stage||14|
For a side with so much potential coming into Euro 2016, recent performances in tournament competition do not inspire much confidence, however this squad must surely be the best they have put together in the last few years and will be expecting to surpass previous European Championships appearances and smash their way through the group stages.
|12.06.16||17.00||Poland||1 - 0||Northern Ireland|
|12.06.16||20.00||Germany||2 - 0||Ukraine|
|16.06.16||17.00||Ukraine||0 - 2||Northern Ireland|
|16.06.16||20.00||Germany||0 - 0||Poland|
|21.06.16||17.00||Ukraine||0 - 1||Poland|
|21.06.16||17.00||Northern Ireland||0 - 1||Germany|
Poland will set their sights higher than just merely escaping the group stages, but it will be no formality. Ukraine, Germany and Northern Ireland await and although Poland will be expected to smash through 2 of the 3 sides, they must be careful not to take their eye off the ball and dismiss the 2 lower ranked sides.
Northern Ireland are a side who will have nothing to lose coming to France and if they play with freedom, could potentially be a tricky match up, but you would expect this Polish team to have too much going forward when the two sides meet. Ukraine could be the game that decides who qualifies second and they will be totally up for this against their neighbours.
However, Poland may have too much for an average Ukrainian squad and will definitely fancy taking all 3 points. The big game in the group will be on 16th June when Poland take on Germany and this could well be a belter. These 2 sides qualified for Euro 2016 out of the same group and both teams hold a victory over the other, so a decider in Group C could turn out to be one of the games of the tournament, with the winner more than likely taking the coveted top spot.
Below is a list of the 4 teams drawn in Group C and their FIFA World Ranking, as you can see Poland hold the lowest rank, yet enter the group as 2nd favourites, a testament to their goalscoring threat and great work ethic.
As expected the boot of Robert Lewandowski fired a high percentage of Poland's goals in qualifying, 13 in 10 matches, but it's not a bad return for the rest of the squad either.
Lewandowski is a sure fire bet to be Poland's top goalscorer at Euro 2016 and has every chance of winning the Golden Boot, we certainly wouldn't put anyone off placing a bet, especially if Poland enjoy a good run throughout the tournament.
Poland will no doubt qualify past the group stages but at 1.25 offer no value unless you throw them into an accumulator, Lewandowski however seems a certainty to be Poland's top goalscorer and offers great value odds. Lewandowski will hopefully get off the mark early when Poland face Northern Ireland in their first game and from there it's hard to see him relinquishing the lead which makes this bet a near certainty.
Poland could be one of the dark horses of the tournament and would expect to breeze through the group stage. With the higher amount of teams at Euro 2016, the last 16 will be an easier match than previous tournaments, and Poland will be expected to be up to the test. The big question for this side is - Can they can cope with what will be a quality side in the Quarter-finals, possibly Switzerland if the draw pans out as predicted, and with Poland's depth of squad and the main man Lewandowski up front - Poland could surprise many and reach the later stages. The bet would be for Poland to go home rather impressively in the Semi-finals.
No doubts here, Robert Lewandowski is the man that the Polish fans are hoping can propel them to great heights in Euro 2016. His goal scoring records speak for themselves, not just at every club he has played at, but also for the national team and with arguably Europe's top striker in your squad you would have to fancy your chances against anyone. Already a proven performer on the big stage in various tournaments for both Bayern and Dortmund, the pressure of Euro 2016 will surely not affect his performances and if Lewandowski can start fast and build momentum, then he could lead Poland to their best tournament in many a year.
This Polish team is built on solid foundations, with a strong spine, the centre midfield pairing of Krzysztof Maczynski and Grzegorz Krychowiak look to outwork their opponents and feed the pacey Piszczek and captain Jakob Blaszczykowski who in turn look towards Arkadiusz Milik and Robert Lewandowski to do the business in front of goal. Poland will cause teams all kinds of problems this Summer.