Poland vs Senegal
Fans at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow are going to get their money’s worth when Poland take on Senegal in an intriguing Group H clash on Tuesday.
In Robert Lewandowski and Sadio Mane, we will be watching two of the most exciting stars of FIFA 2018 as they aim to fire their teams to the knockout stages.
And in a group containing Colombia and Japan, this contest is wide open and a serious test of FIFA 2018 predictions.
Poland and Senegal are getting superb value from their managers, Adam Nawalka and Aliou Cisse. Their combined annual salary of less than £350k per annum represents a week’s wage for Europe’s top-earning footballers! And neither earns even ten percent of the World Cup’s best-paid coaches, Joachim Low and Gareth Southgate.
Now, does that take some of the pressure off? Well it might do, but looking at the world-class players at these coaches’ disposal, expectations are understandably high.
Nawalka has the respect of his star-man Lewandowski; and the Bayern Munich star can undoubtedly help the Poles grab the FIFA 2018 news and headlines after netting an incredible 16 goals in qualification—a record in Europe—while scoring 29 in the Bundesliga, 14 more than his nearest rival.
The 29-year-old skipper is rated at over £150m and has hinted his interest in a change of scenery after the World Cup, alerting the money men at Real Madrid and Manchester City.
On Tuesday, Lewandowski will come up against Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, and that could be the pivotal battle in this game. Koulibaly has had a brilliant season in Serie A and could well be a match for the FC Bayern hitman.
Senegalese fans still talk about the 2002 adventure when their heroes reached the World Cup quarter-finals—beating France on the way—and they believe Cisse has a squad which could match that incredible feat.
In front of Koulibaly, they have quality in midfield in the shape of West Ham’s Cheik Kouyate and Everton’s Idrissa Gueye, while up front, Liverpool’s Sadio Mane and Monaco’s Keita Balde have pace to burn.
Mane has been a crucial part of Liverpool’s electric front three, featuring Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino, which blasted the Reds all the way to the Champions League final. He scored in both semi-final legs against Roma and grabbed Liverpool’s goal in the final, so he is certainly the man for the big occasion.
Meanwhile, Balde has attracted a lot of interest in Ligue 1 and will use his speed to cut in from the left flank, and so fullbacks on both sides of Poland’s defence will have their work cut out.
Group H is the only one at FIFA 2018 which doesn’t contain a previous winner, which means it’s a pretty level playing field and everything is up for grabs. Both teams will fancy their chances in each game in the group, making this meeting in Moscow all the more exciting.
Pull up a chair and enjoy!
Poland’s golden period was four decades ago, when they reached the semi-finals in both 1974 and 1982. However, they have shown pretty strong form this time around in qualifying for the eighth time.
Nawalka guided his team to eight wins from ten games to stroll into the finals, comfortably ahead of a quality Denmark side. And they’ll be particularly keen to give this campaign a good shot having missed out on the last two World Cups.
Winning four and drawing two in six games made Senegal’s qualification for their second ever World Cup finals quite comfortable too.
Both teams arrive in decent form with three wins in the last seven, and with a victory in their last game. Lewandowski was on target twice as Poland battered Lithuania 4-0, and that followed a 2-2 draw with an impressive Chile side. Meanwhile, Senegal had a comfortable 2-0 victory over the Republic of Korea.
What are the odds?
This is a really fascinating match-up and the us odds show just what a tight encounter it could be. Poland are 2.02 to win with a -0.25 handicap, while Senegal are at odds of 1.91 with that start.
Without a handicap, the Poles are at 2.36 with both the draw and Senegal at 3.10.
Betting on Senegal Draw no Bet is at 2.35.
Total goals of 2-3 will pay you 1.91, and that matches up with the most likely result, which is 1-1 at odds of 5.40.
Poland and Senegal fans can back their teams to win, but me? I think I’ll go for the obvious choice.
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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