Lakenheath Old Boys

We are all former students at Lakenheath High School and other public schools in East Anglia. We were in school in the 70s and 80s and drank deeply from the well of British culture of those decades - the pints, the telly, and of course the footie!

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Euro 2016 Preview: Group C: Poland and Northern Ireland

Tonight, it's the turn of the also-rans in Group c, starting with Poland:

Nickname: "Biale Orly" ("The White Eagles")

Absurd FIFA ranking: 27th

Coach: Adam Nawalka

Match Schedule: 

June 12 - Poland v. Northern Ireland (Nice, 12pm EST, ESPN)
June 16 - Poland v. Germany (Saint Denis, 3pm ESPN)
June 21 - Poland v. Ukraine (Marseille, 12pm, ESPN)

Prospects: The Poles had a decent run in a difficult group that included Germany, the Republic and Scotland, finishing second behind the World Champions. So, they'll count themselves in with a real chance of qualifying for the second round of the Euros for the first time. A lot of press has concerned whether Adam Nawalka would call up Leicester City's sturdy defender Marcin Wasilewski. Poland have a decent, tight squad that can play a bit with some useful midfielders and Lewandowski up front.

Key Player: Bayern Munich striker and Poland skipper Robert Lewandowski is well on his way to becoming Poland's all-time record goalscorer.

Prediction: The June 21st match-up with Ukraine will decide who qualifies automatically as second place in the group and gets a cushy ride through the Round of 16. It's a close call but I'm tipping Poland for a loss in this match followed by another loss in the Round of 16.

On to Northern Ireland, who are appearing in the European Championships for the very first time:

Nickname: "The Green and White Army")

Absurd FIFA ranking: 26nd

Coach: Former journeyman footballer Michael O'Neill

Match Schedule: 

June 12 - Northern Ireland v. Poland (Nice, 12pm EST, ESPN)
June 16 - Northern Ireland v. Ukraine  (Lyon, 12pm ESPN)
June 21 - Northern Ireland v. Germany (Paris 3pm, ESPN)

Prospects: Northern Ireland will be carrying banners that say "Just Happy to Be Here" into France this summer. They could easily suffer the fate of the Republic at Euro 2012, where the Green Army were hammered in three successive matches. O'Neill will have a difficult choice of squad members, as anyone with a Northern Irish granny who's playing well in the upper reaches of English professional football will be in for a call-up.

Key Player: Southampton midfielder and Norn Ireland captain Steven Davis adds a lot of industry and the occasional goal.

Prediction: Fourth place in Group C - don't overbook your stay at the Cote D'Azure hotel, lads!


Blogger manunitedrules said...

For some strange reason I expect Lewandowski to get the goals for Poland, so he will definitely be a key player. Krychowiak, the Sevilla midfield player is quite useful as well. Wasilewski was not named to the 23 man squad. Former Gunners keepers Su Su Sudio and Flappy are in the squad. Gooner will have plenty to say about that. I am really surprised that you expect the Poles to lose to the Ukraine , who are an aging team with 19 of the squad playing domestically in the Ukraine and led by 37 year old Tymoschuk now playing in the land of Borat. The majority of the Polish players bare playing in the top leagues in Europe. The yellow and blues finished third in their group behind the Slovaks and narrowly defeated Slovenia in the playoffs. I expect the Poles to finish second, defeat the Swiss in the round of sixteen, then lose to Spain in the quarters.
I do agree with you about Northern Ireland . They have done well to qualify for the Euros , but will probably have a similar fate that the Republic of Ireland did in Euro 2012. Steven Davis is the top player and leader of this team. He and journeyman striker, Kyle Lafferty , now of the Bluenoses, will be the most likely to score if anyone does. Other key players will be Hamilton Academical goalkeeper, Michael McGovern while Jonny evans and Craig Cathcart, the former United central defenders will need to use everything they learned at the MUFC Academy to giove the Ulsterman even a remote chance of getting a point or two.Bob will be delighted that Stuart Dallas is in the squad as he will be the sole LUFC player at the Euros and may start. Their players play primarily in the top two divisions in England with a few SPL players and a few players from L1 and L2. They have done well to get this far, but will finish bottom of the group.

8:30 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Nice one, mate. I agree with you that it will be a tight one between Ukraine and Poland. But I'm sticking with Ukraine edging out the Poles and we'll see what happens in a couple of weeks.

8:34 PM  
Blogger manunitedrules said...

Thanks, Bob.It should be interesting. Cheers, mate.

10:16 AM  

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