Having both faced Italy in their opening UEFA Nations League games, Poland (who drew), now face Group A3 leaders Portugal (who won 1-0) in the first of back-to-back games in Chorzow.
Silesian Stadium, Chorzow, Poland
Key Stat: Poland have only won on of their five meetings with Portugal since the turn of the century.
Expert Verdict: Portugal suffered a disappointing World Cup campaign and early exit but they were not as below-par as Poland - who crashed out in the group stage despite having been top seeds in what looked to be a favourable draw. Portugal's rebuilding job started with a UEFA Nations League win against Italy last time out, and they are favourites again for this one - a tag they should live up to.
All-time top goalscorer Robert Lewandowski will become only the fourth Polish player to reach 100 caps when he starts up front against Portugal. Lukasz Skorupski has withdrawn from the squad injured but was unlikely to play in goal anyway, while Maciej Rybus, Adam Dzwigala and Taras Romanczuk are missing from the last squad.
Robert Lewandowski – Set for his 100th international appearance, having netted 55 times in his previous 99.
Piotr Zielinski – Scored Poland’s goal in the draw with Italy in their opening UEFA Nations League match.
Arkadiusz Milik – The other half of Napoli’s Polish duo has scored 12 times in 44 caps and provides the foil to Lewandowski in attack.
Poland drew both matches in September following their early World Cup exit – Piotr Zielinski scoring in a 1-1 draw with Italy in Bologna in the UEFA Nations League and Mateusz Klich scoring a late equaliser in a friendly with Republic of Ireland. The win against Japan in their final World Cup group game remains their only win in their last five games.
Defenders:Bartosz Bereszynski, Kamil Glik, Jan Bednarek, Arkadiusz Reca
Defensive Midfielders:Grzegorz Krychowiak, Mateusz Klich
Attacking Midfielders:Arkadiusz Milik, Piotr Zielinski, Jakub Blaszczykowski
Cristiano Ronaldo remains absent from the Portugal squad, having been the centre of a rape allegation and the re-opening of the trial into the incident. The captain and all-time top goalscorer was rested for the last two matches but no official reason was given for his latest absence. Wolves’ Helder Costa could make his international debut, as could Montpellier defender Pedro Mendes. Gelson Martins, Rony Lopes and injured Raphael Guerreiro are the only absentees from the Portuguese squad selected for September’s matches.
Andre Silva – Scored the winner against Italy – his 13th international goal in 28 appearances – and has hit the ground running in La Liga with seven goals in seven league games.
Ruben Neves – The Wolves’ midfielder has already made his mark on the Premier League, having previously been one of his team’s star players in the Championship.
Rui Patricio – The experienced goalkeeper has kept four clean sheets in his first eight Premier League matches for Wolves.
After losing 2-1 to Uruguay at the World Cup despite Pepe’s goal, Portugal’s rebuilding started with a 1-1 draw against World Cup finalists Croatia – Pepe again scoring. In their first UEFA Nations League match, Andre Silva scored the only goal of the game to defeat Italy – just Portugal’s third win in ten games and their first since beating Morocco in the group stages in Russia.
Defenders:Joao Cancelo, Pepe, Ruben Dias, Mario Rui
Midfielders:Pizzi, Ruben Neves, William Carvalho
Forwards:Bernardo Silva, Andre Silva, Helder Costa
Portugal have not beaten Poland in 90 minutes since a 4-0 thrashing – inspired by Pauleta’s hat-trick – at the 2002 FIFA World Cup. They are unbeaten in the last three meetings, however, and won the most recent on penalties, after a 1-1 draw, at Euro 2016. Robert Lewandowski had given Poland the lead before Renato Sanches’ equaliser forced a penalty shoot-out, where Rui Patricio saved from Jakub Blaszczykowski in a 5-4 Portuguese win. That was their first match since a goalless draw in a friendly in 2012.
Robert Lewandowski’s 100th international appearance will be the focus in Poland ahead of the game with Portugal, but the visitors go into it as favourites.
Poland hit a bad run of form which continued through the World Cup, and two draws since have failed to convince either.
Portugal are without star man Cristiano Ronaldo, but there is no shortage of attacking talent in the Portuguese team in his absence.
Andre Silva has refound his goalscoring touch at Sevilla, Bernardo Silva has been a key figure in Manchester City’s strong start to their Premier League title defence and potential debutant Helder Costa is part of an impressive Wolves’ side – as is Ruben Neves in midfield.
Pepe offers experience at the back – and goals in two of Portugal’s last three games – while Rui Patricio has been in good form in goal in the Premier League this season too.
Poland, on the other hand, still have experienced players like Lewandowski and Blaszczykowski but they have been unconvincing at best in the past 11 months now.
Portugal can take a firm group on this UEFA Nations League group with a victory in Chorzow, and they have a well-balanced line-up and the attacking quality to do just that.
The last three matches between the two have ended in draws, and there will be very little between them again in all likelihood, but Portugal could just edge it.
Portugal are 17/10 with Bet365 to beat Poland, compared to a best price of 19/10 – again with Bet365 – on the home side.
That reflects how close the game could be, with recent results between the two teams reflecting that too, but Portugal’s attacking prowess – even without Cristiano Ronaldo – could give them a slight edge. A Portugal win by just one goal will return a best price of 16/5 with Betfair.
Just one goal in the game – as there was when Portugal beat Italy – could also be worth backing. Under 1.5 goals has been set at 39/20 with 888sport.
Andre Silva scored the goal against Italy and has been in good form with Sevilla this season. He is 12/5 to score at any time with 888sport.
As an aside, on his landmark appearance, Robert Lewandowski is 13/10 to score at any time for Poland. His last Polish goals came in the pre-World Cup win against Lithuania, however.
Poland and Portugal have drawn their last three games and there is unlikely to be much between them again in this UEFA Nations League fixture. Portugal, however, could just edge it.