Poland may be number 65 in the Fifa World Rankings, but with the home support behind them and some solid recent results, they could well spring a surprise this summer.
When Franciszek Smuda unveiled his provisional squad for Euro 2012, the 63-year-old manager appeared confident of Poland’s chances.
“For the last two and a half years I’ve had time to recognise what my players can do and I believe the group chosen will give our fans real joy,” he said.
Smuda: “These tournaments always create new names and I believe that two or three or them will be Polish.”
The Polish boss has every reason to be optimistic, with the example of Greece sure to be a reference point for the hosts.
Smuda can also call on stars like Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny and Borussia Dortmund trio Lukasz Piszczek, Jakub Blaszczykowski and Robert Lewandowski.
Poland are in good form, too, having lost just two of their last 12 with those defeats coming to France and Italy.
A win against Argentina and a draw with Germany suggests the hosts could be capable of topping a group containing Czech Republic, Greece and Russia.
Czech Republic endured an erratic qualifying period that saw them win just four games, with defeats to the likes of Lithuania witnessed along the way.
Greece also appear to have hit poor form at the worst time, having gone three games without a win, while they also rely too much on the old heads of 2004.
Russia meanwhile made hard work of what should have been a relatively stress-free qualification programme and could be set for a slip-up under outgoing coach Dick Advocaat.
The task at hand may be a tough one, but with Poland eager to utilise their home advantage, Smuda remains confident of making an impact.
“These tournaments always create new names and I believe that two or three or them will be Polish,” he said.
Qualifying top from the group stage, which is available at 59/20, could help do just that.
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