Preview: Poland vs. Faroe Islands 

Preview: Poland vs. Faroe Islands 

Aiming to make up lost ground in European Championship qualifying Group E, Poland seek maximum points on Thursday, when Faroe Islands are the visitors at Warsaw’s Stadion Narodowy.

After the Eagles slipped up in Moldova last time out, leaving them adrift of group leaders Czech Republic, their Faroese counterparts sit rock-bottom with just a single point from three matches.

Having kicked off their qualifying campaign fully confident of reaching a fifth successive tournament finals, Poland’s Group E journey so far has not quite panned out as first planned.

Losing to the Czech Republic in their opening match put them behind in the expected battle for top spot, before a 1-0 victory against Albania at least saw the Eagles take something from the March international period.

Now coached by former Euros winner Fernando Santos, they then went on to beat Germany in a June friendly on home soil, before travelling to Chisinau to complete the supposed formality of turning over international minnows Moldova.

Despite a strong start, which saw goals from strike duo Arkadiusz Milik and Robert Lewandowski apparently put them in control, Poland unaccountably unravelled after the break, conceding three goals to their hosts, who snatched victory with a winner in the 85th minute.

Therefore, the four-time European Championship finalists stand in danger of missing out on direct entry to Euro 2024 if they cannot steady the ship during this month’s get-together.

Set to meet Albania in a potentially crucial clash at the weekend, Santos and co will be acutely aware that only the top two in each group go through automatically, so success on Thursday evening is all but essential.
By contrast, victory in Warsaw would represent a real coup for the Faroe Islands, a nation that has never qualified for any major tournament and are unlikely to do so soon, given their relatively modest resources.

The fourth-smallest UEFA-affiliated country in terms of population – with less than 60,000 people inhabiting the islands – they have so far matched expectations in Group E.

Sweden-born coach Hakan Ericson – who previously led the Faroes into League C of the UEFA Nations League and then pulled off a shock win over Turkey this time last year – has overseen one draw and two defeats in the first three games of the qualifying process.

Although they started with a point away to Moldova – not such a bad result in the context of Poland’s woes there later on – losing successive home fixtures to the Czech Republic (3-0) and Albania (3-1) has since sent them to the foot of the standings.

As a result, Faroe Islands are now winless in their last six outings all told, and having posted just one win from their last 17 Euro qualifiers there are few signs they can cause an upset in Poland, ahead of Sunday’s meeting with Moldova in Torshavn.

Poland Euro Champ Qualifying form:

Poland form (all competitions):

Faroe Islands Euro Champ Qualifying form:

Faroe Islands form (all competitions):

We say: Poland 4-0 Faroe Islands
As Poland know another stumble against one of Group E’s minnows could serve a critical blow to their top-two aspirations, a strong side should take care of business on Thursday. Putting them back on the path towards Germany next summer, victory on home turf should set the Eagles up for an intriguing encounter with Albania later this week.

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