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Poland v Netherlands: Lewandowski out to make the most of set pieces

Robert Lewandowski hopes Poland can make the most of their strength from set pieces in Wednesday’s international friendly against Netherlands as they step up their preparation for Euro 2016.

Poland will meet Germany, Northern Ireland and Ukraine in Group C and the Bayern Munich striker believes details could be decisive in their attempts to reach the knockout stages.

National team coach Adam Nawalka has been busy creating set-piece variations over the past few days and Lewandowski thinks the Poland boss’ attention to detail may make the difference.

“When it comes to set pieces, Poland might be even better than Bayern Munich,” Lewandowski was quoted as saying by Przeglad Sportowy.

“You can clearly see the coach’s hand in it. Nothing happens by coincidence. We have set patterns that can earn us goals.

“We are not strong enough to just ignore the chance to do something extra from corners and free-kicks. We do not create so many chances from open play that we can pass up the chance to make the most of our set pieces.

“We can make life much easier for ourselves this way.”

Poland have been in sublime form in recent years, losing just once in their last 18 games, with Germany proving to be too strong in September 2015. They have since embarked on a seven-game unbeaten run.

Netherlands, meanwhile, will be using the encounter with Poland to prepare in the best way possible for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, having missed out on Euro 2016.

Danny Blind’s men had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Republic of Ireland on Friday and the Oranje coach is ready to make a number of changes for Wednesday’s meeting.

“The original plan was to make a number of changes for the friendly against Poland,” Blind told NOS.

“I will not change the team in its entirety. But I could make three or four changes.

“Daley Blind is still struggling after picking up a knock in the FA Cup final. We won’t take any risks with him.

“We have to be careful. These are important games for us, but still friendly games. We are not talking about a qualifier.”

Netherlands and Poland have met 14 times since 1968, with the Dutch emerging victorious on five occasions, losing three times and drawing the remaining six. Poland last beat Netherlands in May 1979.

Mon 30 May, 2016
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