Preview: Scotland vs. Poland

Preview: Scotland vs. Poland

Scotland and Poland will square off in an international friendly on Thursday evening, having both had their World Cup playoff fixtures postponed due to Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine.

The Tartan Army had been scheduled to face Ukraine in the semi-finals, while Poland have already advanced through to the final courtesy of Russia’s expulsion.

On the back of six successive victories in World Cup qualifying, Scotland would have been desperate to play their semi-final tie with Ukraine given the momentum that they built between September and November.

However, everyone associated with the nation will acknowledge that a postponement was the only decision which could have been taken, and they instead get a high-level preparation game with Poland.

Steve Clarke will be placing as much focus on winning as he will handing out game time, the Tartan Army head coach not wanting to lose any of the positivity generated from the 2-0 triumph over Denmark last time out.

Scotland have now kept five clean sheets in their last six outings, the only goals being conceded during that time being in a five-goal thriller with Israel.

The last game between these two nations took place in October 2015, with a last-gasp Robert Lewandowski equaliser earning Poland a 2-2 draw in Euro 2016 qualifying.

The Bayern Munich frontman will likely get the chance to score more goals against Scotland as he looks to add to the 74 strikes that he has already netted for his country.

Having only scrapped into the playoffs, there is a perception that Poland are not in favourable form, but they have still managed to score in their last 15 matches in all competitions.

Just three clean sheets have been posted during that period, two of those coming against San Marino, and a six-match unbeaten streak came to an end last time out as they lost at home to Hungary.

Nevertheless, with only Sweden or Czech Republic standing in their way with regards to qualification for a second successive World Cup, new head coach Czeslaw Michniewicz will want to make the most of the games that he has with his players ahead of that game.

Scotland form (all competitions):
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Poland form (all competitions):
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We say: Scotland 1-1 Poland
Both managers will want to find a balance between giving their favoured team a run-out and trying a few fresh faces. Nevertheless, regardless of which players take to the pitch, we are expecting a low-scoring draw to play out as they prepare for more important challenges ahead.

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