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Football: Poland to take on Albania in key World Cup qualifier

12.10.2021 19:00
Poland’s national football team is set to take on Albania in a crucial 2022 World Cup qualifier in Tirana on Tuesday, needing at least a draw to keep alive their hopes of reaching next year's tournament in Qatar.
Poland players during a training session in Tirana ahead of the teams World Cup qualifier against Albania.
Poland players during a training session in Tirana ahead of the team's World Cup qualifier against Albania.Photo: PAP/Leszek Szymański

The match at the Albanian capital's Arena Kombëtare stadium kicks off at 8:45 p.m. Warsaw time.

Poland are ranked 24th worldwide by football's governing body FIFA, while Albania are No. 66 in the FIFA table.

The Poles, under their Portuguese manager Paulo Sousa, go into the match led by star strikeRobert Lewandowski, and the squad also includes several other players excelling in Europe, such as Napoli midfielder Piotr Zieliński and Hertha Berlin forward Krzysztof Piątek.

Several other players, including defenders Arkadiusz Reca and Maciej Rybus, have succumbed to injuries and will miss the encounter with Albania, state news agency PAP reported.

The Polish team, captained by Lewandowski, FIFA's world player of the year for 2020, on October 9 demolished underdogs San Marino 5-0 in its previous 2022 World Cup qualifier.

After seven rounds of fixtures, Poland are in third place in their qualifying Group I, behind England and Albania, with 14 points and a plus-16 goal differential.

Poland need to beat Albania or at least earn a draw on Tuesday night to preserve their chances of qualifying for next year's World Cup in Qatar.

The qualification stage for the 2022 World Cup runs until next month, while the tournament will be held in Qatar from November 21 to December 18, 2022.

Source: PAP