Poland have a good chance of joining Spain in the knockout stages this summer
Polish football fans are already gearing up for this summer’s European Championships, as bets and match predictions abound about whether Robert Lewandowski is now the best striker in the world, and if he has enough backup within the Polish squad to propel them to glory. Certainly, the Polish are being priced by major Euro 2020 odds makers as a team bound for at least the knockout phases of the tournament.
However, standing in their way of making that happen are Spain, Sweden, and Slovakia, who all have their own ideas about going deep in the draw. Here we assess which national sides will pose the biggest threat to Paulo Sousa’s men.
Spain – Rebuilding of the Bull Continues Apace
Luis Enrique is the man in charge of uniting Spain’s club factions to turn the Spanish national team into a formidable force again.
Although they still appear a little lightweight up front, especially with Barcelona star Ansu Fati unlikely to recover from injury in time for the Euros, they are making improvements in other key areas. One of these is defence, where Enrique has pulled off something of a coup by convincing Man City centre back Aymeric Laporte to play for Spain instead of France. The Premier League winner should slot in nicely alongside Sergio Ramos, where the two will be a tough wall to break down.
Slovakia – The Group’s Whipping Boys?
Despite losing three times during their qualifying campaign, Slovakia still managed to squeak into the Euro 2020 main draw by beating Northern Ireland in an unconvincing 2-1 win after extra time. With no big match winners in their team and a lack of cutting edge, it's hard to see them achieving much in Group E other than clinging on for the odd draw.
Sweden – Hoping for More Zlatan Magic
If Slovakia are missing a match winner, then Sweden certainly has one in the form of Zlatan Ibrahimović, who was delighted to be recalled to the Swedish national setup after a hot run of form for AC Milan. The rest of the team proved during their qualifying campaign that they can compete against elite sides having registered a draw against the Spanish. However, they have also taken a few drubbings in the Nations League, so Poland will fancy beating them.