Euro Betting: Spain vs Poland, 19 June
Group Stage | Group E | Seville
Their Euros So Far
Both teams have made slow and disappointing starts to their Euro campaigns, albeit with Spain managing to draw their opening game to Sweden, whilst Poland lost to close neighbours, Slovakia. For this tie, each side will clearly be eager to make up ground in their group.
Spain were their usual pass-master selves against Sweden, with 85% possession over the course of the game, but with several misses from a number of players, including Alvaro Morata, their opening game finished goalless, and in some instances, they could even have lost the tie.
For Poland, they delivered a somewhat underwhelming performance against their revitalized rivals, Slovakia. Losing 2-1, even after equalising 30 seconds after half-time. Add to this, the quiet game of star striker, Robert Lewandowski, and sending off of Gregorz Krychowiak, and it amounted to a real bad start to Euro 2021 for the Poles.
Both national managers will now look to redress the balance and put it right against one another. Luis Enrique’s men have all supported Morata in the backlash following the opening draw, fully expecting him to put it behind him and do better against Poland. With a forward department that includes Man City’s Ferran Torres and young Barcelona star, Pedri, the Spanish certainly have enough options to try something different too.
For Poland, they know they have made things hard for themselves with their opening defeat, as well as the performance. It was especially chastening as the Poles equalized just 30 seconds into the second half, so would have expected to use that momentum for victory. Instead, the sending off of their number 10, Grzegorz Krychowiak, changed the face of the game and Slovakia were able to snatch victory. The fact that Krychowiak will now be suspended for the Spain game makes the chances of progressing even more difficult.
Poland will hope their team can take inspiration from Sweden – who held Spain, and on occasion, threatened them – and deliver a battling performance against the Spanish. With Karol Linetty opening his account in the last game, and Robert Lewandowski yet to spark into the form the whole world knows he’s capable of, Poland will hope Matchday 2 is when the floodgates open for them.
Former coach, Adam Nawalka, who guided Poland to the quarter-finals of Euro 2016 has given his vote of confidence, exclaiming: “Paulo Sousa is a good coach. We have best player in the world and solid team. I still believe in them.”
There is not a lot of recent history between the nations, but nonetheless, Spain have still won eight of their ten games against Poland (all friendlies), with the most recent being a 6-0 demolition job back in 2010. Although it was a friendly, it did serve as Spain’s final warm-up before their winning World Cup campaign in South Africa.
The only competitive encounters between the sides are as far back as 1959 qualifiers for the inaugural European Championships. Spain won 4-2 in Poland, then 3-0 back in Madrid, with the legendary Alfredo Di Stefano scoring in both ties.
The only Polish success against Spain came in their first ever friendly in 1980. The Poles defeating Spain 2-1 in Barcelona, courtesy of an 89th minute winner, just sixty seconds after Spain had equalised. Essentially, it’s never been easy for Poland to get one over on the Spanish.
Even more ominously, the 3-time Euro winners have a formidable record in Seville, winning 39 games, drawing 6, and losing just 4.
So, will Spain to continue to reign over Poland? Or will Lewandowski be ready to fire?