Poland captain Robert Lewandowski

FIFA World Cup preview: Poland

The proud footballing nation of Poland has fallen on lean times in recent years.

After qualifying for four FIFA World Cups from 1974 to 1986, Poland has qualified for the finals just two times since.

But there is plenty of cause for optimism in their return to the big stage. Poland beat the likes of Denmark in qualifying and have been buoyed by their best-ever quarterfinal finish at EUFA Euro in 2016.

Those recent results hoisted Poland to an all-time high of No.5 in the FIFA rankings, so this is a nation on the rise.

There are no easy groups at the World Cup, but Poland's is by no means one of the hardest. Japan is in freefall, Senegal is beatable and the best side in the group in Colombia can be defeated by Poland.

A nation to watch this time around.

The draw for Poland

Senegal, June 20

Colombia, June 25

Japan, June 29

The star player

Robert Lewandowski is the main striker at Bundesliga club Bayern Munich and is right in the prime of his career.

All of Poland's attack will be centred around his skills and this is his chance to shine.

Despite recent results and rankings, Poland is still not regarded as one of the world's elite nations.

Lewandowski can change all of that right here.

What needs to go right

All Poland needs to do is continue what they have been doing. They have been presented with a group they can top, if good enough.

They have talent at the right age playing in the right competitions. Poland has shone on the big stage recently and needs to carry that form into the FIFA World Cup.

Not reaching the knockout stage would be a disappointing result.

About the Author Josh Alston

Josh Alston is a hack with over 12 years industry experience, covering sport across all codes for newspapers and online agencies. Known to frequent grade matches because of their cheap tinnies. Eventually graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism and a Masters in sitting on the hill when the local cricket side was playing. Softball premiership winner, rugby league legend in Year 10 and no stranger to Doomben Racecourse.

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