France vs poland
Reigning champions France and Poland will square off in the round of 16 on Sunday at the Al-Thumama Stadium. Both teams lost their group-stage matches for the World Cup 2022.
Les Bleus took top place in Group D to advance to the knockout stages, while Czeslaw Michniewicz’s team placed second in Group C to tie the holders.
Didier Deschamps, the head coach of France, was not afraid to make changes for Les Bleus’ last Group D match against Tunisia after being the first coach to advance his team to the knockout stages of the 2022 World Cup, but a backup team could not maintain perfection in Qatar.
Kylian Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele, and Antoine Griezmann were all kept in reserve, which Tunisia took advantage of to score first through Wahbi Khazri in the 58th minute. Griezmann, however, believed that he had tied the score at the very last second.
Poland managed just four points from their three Group C games, but their goal differential of 0 allowed them to edge out Mexico (-1) for second place and clinch a ticket in the round of 16 for the first time since the 1986 tournament, which was also hosted in Mexico.
The 2022 World Cup has only seen five shots on target for Michniewicz’s team, three of which came in their matchday two victory over Saudi Arabia. Despite this, Michniewicz’s team had kept four straight clean sheets before Mac Allister broke through their defense.
40 years have passed since France last lost to Poland, who eliminated them from the World Cup in 1982 before defeating them 4-0 in a friendly later that year. Since then, though, Les Bleus have put together a seven-game winning streak against the Group C runners-up, most recently winning 1-0 in a 2011 friendly.
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.
France vs Poland prediction: France win
Possible correct score:
France 1-0 Poland
France 2-0 Poland