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Match Preview: France To Secure Knockout Stage Against Eliminated Poland

France and Poland are set to clash in their final Euro 2024 Group B match at Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund on Tuesday, with contrasting fortunes at stake for both teams.

The 2018 World Cup champions, France, are on the brink of qualifying for the knockout stages, needing only a draw or a win against Poland to guarantee their spot. 

Despite their strong position, Les Bleus have been somewhat underwhelming in their opening matches, managing a narrow 1-0 win over Austria and a goalless draw with the Netherlands.

France coach Didier Deschamps remains cautious, stating, “We’ve always got the required amount of respect for our opponent. I’m sure we’ll be facing a side who will be doing their best to win.”

On the other hand, Poland has already been eliminated from the tournament following defeats to the Netherlands and Austria. 

Despite this, Polish coach Michał Probierz remains optimistic about his team’s motivation. “It is true that we have no chances of qualifying, but I had no problem with players’ motivation ahead of this final game,” he said.

Key Players to Watch

For France, midfielder N’Golo Kanté has been a standout performer, maintaining his impressive record of never losing a match in regulation time at a major international tournament. Kanté expressed confidence in his team’s campaign, saying, “It’s looking good for what’s to come.”

Poland’s Robert Lewandowski will be returning to familiar ground at Signal Iduna Park, where he played club football for four seasons. His performance could be crucial for Poland’s hopes of leaving the tournament on a high note.

Historical Context

The France vs Poland head-to-head record favours France, with Poland failing to secure a victory against Les Bleus in their last eight encounters. Poland’s last competitive win against France dates back to the 1982 World Cup third-place play-off.

Possible Line-ups

France: Maignan; Koundé, Saliba, Upamecano, Hernandez; Dembélé, Kanté, Tchouaméni, Rabiot; Griezmann, Thuram

Poland: Skorupski; Bednarek, Dawidowicz, Kiwior; Frankowski, Slisz, Moder, Zieliński, Zalewski; Urbański, Lewandowski

The France vs Poland match kicks off at 17:00 Nigerian time on Tuesday, 25th of June, with Italian referee Marco Guida officiating and Massimiliano Irrati as VAR.

While France aims to fine-tune their performance ahead of the knockout stages, Poland will be looking to salvage pride and potentially cause an upset in their final Euro 2024 appearance.

As Probierz put it, “Of course, in general we are disappointed but I still think we will bring some good memories home from this tournament.”

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