Lukasz Fabianski is set to keep his position between the sticks for this game as first-choice keeper Wojciech Szczesny is still ruled out with an injury. Apart from that, Poland are expected to field a full strength line up for the clash in Marseille.
Portugal are looking to continue their hunt for silverware, and if they manage to win this grueling encounter, then it’ll be the fourth time in the last 5 European Championships that Portugal would’ve reached the final 4. Portugal have also been boosted with a return to training for Andre Gomes and Raphael Guerreiro after both the players missed out on two days of training [via BBC].
Portugal made three changes to their defence, which earned them a gritty clean sheet against Croatia. This could mean that the Southampton duo of Fonte and Soares would retain their place in the starting XI. Quaresma, after clinching the winner for Portugal deep into added time, will hope to get a start in the upcoming crucial encounter.
Poland have had an upper hand in the last five meetings between these two countries, which have spanned over a period of 30 years, winning two and losing one whereas the other two games ended in stalemates.
“It’s going to be a balanced game, although I don’t think Poland resemble any team we’ve played so far. They’re a very strategic team,” Portugal coach Fernando Santos was quoted as saying on UEFA’s official website. “They go from defence to attack very quickly and you can tell a lot of work has been done behind the scenes. When we have the ball ourselves, we’ll try and take advantage of their weak points.”
A golden opportunity for both teams to claim the Euros
This is the first time Poland have reached the quarter-finals of a major tournament since 1982. Being placed on the relatively easier half of the draw, Poland have got to consider this as a golden opportunity to make a deep run in the European Championships.
Poland have reasons to be optimistic and believe that they can make the quarter-finals as they have conceded the least number of goals in this tournament (one) that too, an overhead kick which frankly no one saw coming.
Portgual reached the quarter-finals after a draining encounter against Croatia in the Round of 16. Many hailed it as the ‘most boring match of the tournament’ purely because of the fact that it took the game 116 minutes to come to life. After Ronaldo’s shot was saved, Quaresma finally scored for Portugal from the rebound in the 117th minute, to break Croatian hearts and win the encounter.
One the other hand, Poland had no less of a struggle against an energetic Switzerland side. Having taken the lead in their Round of 16 game, it took an outrageously stunning effort from Xherdan Shaqiri to equalise, after which the game subsequently went to penalties. People have lauded the Stoke City player’s overhead kick as the best goal this tournament has seen so far.