Reigning champions France will lock horns against Poland at the Al Thumama Stadium in the round of 16 of the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Sunday.
France picked up wins in their first two group-stage games, thus securing a place in the knockout round. In their final group-stage game, head coach Didier Deschamps rested their key players and fell to a 1-0 defeat against Tunisia on Wednesday.
Poland suffered a 2-0 defeat against Argentina in their final group-stage game on Thursday. Mexico recorded a win over Saudi Arabia in their last game and were tied with Poland in the league table with four points. Poland managed to secure their place in the knockout stage by a thin margin, thanks to their better goal difference (0, while Mexico had -1).
Poland are in the knockout round for the first time since 1986 when they were eliminated by Brazil. France have qualified for the knockout stage for three editions in a row.
France vs Poland Head-to-Head and Key Numbers
- The two teams have squared off 16 times across all competitions. As expected, France have a better record in these games with eight wins to their name. Poland have three wins to their name while five games have ended in draws.
- The last five meetings between the two teams have produced fewer than 2.5 goals, with Denmark failing to score in four of these matches.
- France outscored Denmark 6-2 in the group stage but Denmark had the better defensive record, conceding two times while France had let in three goals.
- There have been under 2.5 goals scored per game in Poland’s last four games in the World Cup.
- The two teams have met just once in the World Cup, with that meeting coming in the third-place decider in 1982. Poland came out on top with a 3-2 triumph in that encounter.
France vs Poland Prediction
Les Bleus rested their key players, including top-scorer Kylian Mbappe, who started from the bench. They should have a fresh and well-rested squad for the game, which might work in their favor. They are undefeated in their last seven meetings against Biało-czerwoni and are expected to put in a solid display in this match.
Poland have scored just two goals in three group-stage games, with both coming against lowly Saudi Arabia. They have failed to score in three straight games against the reigning world champions and might struggle here.
Taking into consideration the form of the two teams, we expect France to face few problems in overcoming their eastern rivals and progressing to the next round.
Prediction: France 2-1 Poland