FIFA World Cup 2022 Round of 16 : France vs Poland Match Preview and Lineups

France vs Poland
SCHEDULE TIME
GAME France vs Poland
DATE 04/12/2022
TIME 08:30 PM (Indian Standard Time)
ARENA Al Thumama Stadium
LEAGUE FIFA World Cup 2022
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FULL TIME
France [3-0] Poland

Match Preview of France vs Poland

Two teams who ended their World Cup 2022 group-stage campaigns with defeat prepare for battle in Sunday's last-16 clash at the Al-Thumama Stadium as reigning champions France take on Poland.

Les Bleus finished first in Group D to make it through to the knockout rounds, while Czeslaw Michniewicz's men set up a tie with the holders after placing second in Group C.

Having become the first manager to lead his side through to the knockout rounds of the 2022 World Cup, France coach Didier Deschamps was not afraid to ring the changes for Les Bleus' final Group D showdown with Tunisia, but a second-string side could not remain perfect in Qatar.

With the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele and Antoine Griezmann all kept in reserve, Tunisia took advantage and drew first blood through Wahbi Khazri in the 58th minute, although Griezmann thought that he had levelled the scores right at the death.

However, VAR intervened after the final whistle to rule the Atletico Madrid man's goal out for offside, which has reportedly led France to file a complaint with FIFA, but Les Bleus nevertheless held on to their first-placed standing, keeping Australia at bay on goal difference.

The 1998 and 2018 champions have now achieved a surprising first at the World Cup, as they have qualified for three successive knockout stages for the first time ever, while they have also become the first defending champions to make it out of the groups since Brazil in 2006.

Furthermore, Les Bleus have managed to progress from each of their last five last-16 ties at the World Cup, and having missed out on a seventh consecutive win on football's grandest stage, Deschamps's side need no added motivation to see off a shot-shy Poland.

Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny joked that he lost a bet with Argentina superstar Lionel Messi over the awarding of a penalty in his side's defeat to the South American champions, but the Juventus man cannot put a price on saving a spot kick from the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner.

The awarding of the penalty was criticised to the extreme, but Szczesny guessed correctly to keep out Messi's effort in their Group C finale, although his efforts were ultimately in vain as Alexis Mac Allister and Julian Alvarez struck for La Albiceleste in the second half.

Our Predicted Lineups

France possible starting lineup:Lloris; Kounde, Varane, Upamecano, T. Hernandez; Tchouameni, Rabiot; Dembele, Griezmann, Mbappe; Giroud

Poland possible starting lineup: starting lineup:Szczesny; Cash, Glik, Kiwior, Bereszynski; Frankowski, Bielik, Krychowiak, Zielinski; Lewandowski, Milik

Who will win the match?

We say: France 2-0 Poland. Possessing the lethal instincts of Lewandowski means nothing for Poland if the Barcelona man receives no service from his teammates, who are unlikely to experience much joy against France's selection of well-rested first-teamers. The loss to Tunisia may have come as a shock to the system for Les Bleus, but Deschamps's settled first XI have otherwise played like world champions, and we expect the holders to march into the quarter-finals with ease.

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