Poland v Senegal preview
Poland meet Senegal on Tuesday afternoon as the final two teams to enter the 2018 World Cup clash in Moscow.
The final match of the first round of group fixtures sees Poland, currently ranked eighth in the FIFA rankings, take on a Senegal side ranked 27th at the Spartak Stadium (3pm kick-off) in Group H.
Senegal coach Aliou Cisse, formerly of Birmingham and Portsmouth, will be looking for Liverpool star Sadio Mane to inspire his team out of a group that also includes Colombia and Japan.
He said: “Sadio Mane is a unique player and he cannot be compared to any other Senegal player, even the major ones we’ve had in the past.”
Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski is Poland’s main man but Cisse said Senegal had “no particular plan to stop him, just a collective plan to beat Poland”.
Senegal defender Saliou Ciss has been injured in training and been replaced on the World Cup roster by fellow left back Adama Mbengue.
Aside from Mane, a number of England-based players could feature for Senegal, including Stoke players Mame Biram Diouf and Badou Ndiaye; Everton’s Idrissa Gueye; Wolves’ Alfred N’Diaye; Birmingham’s Cheikh N’Doye; and West Ham’s Cheikhou Kouyate, who will captain the side.
Poland striker Arkadiusz Milik is set to be fit, despite suffering a freak hand injury when he slipped over at a sea life centre.
Bayern Munich star Lewandowski will lead the line with Juventus’ Wojciech Szczesny to start in goal ahead of Swansea’s Lukasz Fabianski, who has been linked with a move to West Ham.
This will be the first ever encounter between Poland and Senegal.
Poland are unbeaten in their three games against African opposition at the World Cup (W1 D2).
This is Poland’s eighth World Cup, but their first appearance since 2006.
Poland have lost six of their last eight World Cup games (W2).
They have also failed to keep a clean sheet in those last eight games.
Poland have won only one of their seven opening games at the World Cup (D3 L3).
Senegal have qualified for their second World Cup, after their inaugural participation in 2002 where they reached the quarter-finals.
Senegal were unbeaten in their only previous group phase appearance at the World Cup (W1 D2).