BY PAUL EREWUBA
POLAND will this afternoon engage Switzerland in a fierce Euro 2016 round of 16 match billed at the Stade de la Mosoon.
Coach Adam Nawałka’s side made history by reaching the last 16 with a 1-0 victory over Ukrain in Marseille on Tuesday, taking their Group C total to seven points and just missing out on top spot on goal difference alone.
Next up are Switzerland in Saint- Etienne today, and Poland’s Lukasz Fabiański sees no reason why Poland cannot improve on their performances so far.
Not content with their first ever maiden spot in the knockout phase,Fabiański feels his team’s UEFA EURO 2016 journey “can get even better” – starting against Switzerland.
Indeed, how does one celebrate one’s team’s first qualification for a UEFA European Championship knockout stage? Poland goalkeeper Łukasz Fabiański, says he will do it by plotting new targets.
Switzerland could have got Germany but Poland could be very difficult to play.
Poland no doubt, have shown great qualities so far.
However, they have to stay positive, work hard and see what happens today.
But Switzerland midfielder feels differently. “Poland are certainly a very good team, but they’re not unbeatable. We’ll be well-prepared and do everything we can to get a positive result and reach the quarter-finals.”
Blerim Džemaili, Switzerland midfielder on his own expects to get Poland in the next round.
According to him, “Poland won’t be easy to play against, but we’re not expecting anything else in the last 16 of a European Championship. We’ve had two days more to recover which could work to our advantage.”
Indeed,Switzerland might not be as big a name as Germany, but they proved how strong they are when they drew 2-2 with tGermany in Wrocław in November 2014.
‘Lewandowski is Poland biggest player, and other members of their squad play for clubs in some of the best leagues in Europe. We respect them, but we’re not scared,” Dzemail stated.
On paper, Poland could pass as having the upper hand in today’s encounter, but Switzerland will have to stick to their tested philosophy and prepare for the game as normal.
They have looked at Poland and analysed them, but they must be focused on their own qualities, if they must get past Poland today.
In another development, World Cup champions, Spain, will on Monday confront the almighty Italy in another tough match to determine who sails through into the quarterfinal stage.
The Spanish national team ended second on Group D standings after suffering a 2-1 defeat to Croatia who lead the group with 7 points.
Spain manager Vicente del Bosque, however believes they have to up their game if they must get past their opponent on Monday.
“We didn’t hold on to the ball as well as we should have [before the winning goal] and weren’t ready for the counter attack. But we’re still in the competition, we are not on the path we wanted to be but we have to rise to the situation’, he stated.