9 October 2014 18:44
A familiar face in the Bundlesliga is plotting to secure a historic win for Poland over Germany in Saturday’s Euro 2016 qualifier in Warsaw.
Robert Lewandowski has forged a reputation as one of the best strikers in European football during his four years in the German top flight, first with Borussia Dortmund and now at champions Bayern Munich.
The 26-year-old has plundered 105 goals combined for Dortmund and Bayern in all competitions, but this weekend will be hoping to upset a few current and former team-mates as Poland go in search of a first victory over Germany – a winless run that has stretched back 18 games in total.
“We know their qualities, but we will not park a bus in our penalty area,” said Lewandowski, one of five German-based players in Adam Nawalka’s squad.
“I know most of Germany’s players – I played with some at Dortmund and now I play with some more at Bayern.
“Of course, we joked a little bit about the game and they admitted, jokingly, they would happily accept a draw in Warsaw.”
Buoyant after winning the World Cup in July, Joachim Low’s Germany started their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Scotland last month.
Bayern forward Thomas Muller netted both goals in Dortmund as Germany’s unbeaten streak extended to 33 qualifiers – a run Lewandowski’s club-mate is keen to maintain.
“We need a good attitude and have to push ourselves to the limit in Poland,” he told a media conference on Thursday.
While Germany made hard work of defeating Scotland in their opening Group D fixture, Poland recorded their biggest qualifying win, a thumping 7-0 victory over Gibraltar, with Lewandowski netting four times.
The gulf in class between Germany and Gibraltar is vast, but Poland defender Kamil Glik is inspired by the prospect of surprising the world champions.
“If we beat Germany, we will write new chapter in Polish football history as we have never beaten them,” said the Torino centre-back.
“Matches against Germany are always special. We are full of adrenaline.
“They have 30-40 top-class players and will be able to find replacements for any injured players. But we know their strong and weak points and I do believe we are able to beat them.”
Germany will be without Mesut Ozil after he was ruled out with a partial ligament tear in his left knee, but Julian Draxler is fit after recovering from illness.