Match-day Commentary: Lech Poznan vs. Juventus will be available starting at 2:45 PM EST.
Any scoreline predictions?
Match-day Commentary: Lech Poznan vs. Juventus will be available starting at 2:45 PM EST.
Any scoreline predictions?
Freezing temperatures may prove to be the deciding factor on Wednesday in Poznan. The temperature is expected to reach -18 degrees Celsius with snow also being in the forecast. Stadium manager Janusz Rejewski said heavy snowfall could prevent the game from being played.
Lech Poznan Team News
Lech Poznan will be without Joel Tshibamba who suffered a broken nose in a car accident last week. Lech will also be without Kamil Drygas and Tomasz Bandrowski. Artjoms Rudnevs is ready to go after a minor knee injury.
Juventus Team News
Juventus arrived on Polish grounds without Marco Motta, Zdenek Grygera, Alberto Aquilani and Fabio Quagliarella. The first two are injured, while the other two can not play in European competitions for procedural reasons. Juve will also be without Nicola Legrottaglie, Paolo De Ceglie and Amauri.
Highlights of the first match in Turin
Lech Poznan will qualify for the knockout stage
-if they defeat Juventus, OR
-if they draw with Juventus AND Manchester City draw with Red Bull Salzburg, OR
-if they draw with Juventus with a score of 0–0, 1–1 or 2–2 AND Manchester City defeat Red Bull Salzburg.
Kuszczak received a rating of 5 (1-10) from goal.com. But don't worry, the whole Manchester United team received a low rating.
Nowak will not fly to Turkey with the Polish national team due to a knee injury which he suffered during a 3:2 loss to Cracovia Krakow last Friday.
Frank Smuda is using this match against Bosnia and Herzegovina as an opportunity to test Ekstraklasa players out that have not yet had a chance or have yet to convince the coach that they deserve a spot on the national team.
Goalkeepers: Smuda already announced earlier that Grzegorz Sandomierski will make his Polish national team debut in this match. The young keeper is playing really well for Jagiellonia Bialystok. Rumors are flying around in Spain that Malaga are interested in Sandomierski. Smuda also called up Bartosz Kaniecki from Widzew Lodz. The 22-year old keeper only played three Ekstraklasa matches this season. Its really hard to find a good keeper in Ekstraklsa.
Defenders: The defense does not include any surprise names. Smuda only called up two new defenders to the NT. The first is Piotr Celeban from Slask Wroclaw. He already made his NT debut in 2008 under Leo Beenhakker. The second player is Marcin Kikut from Lech Poznan. I really think Kikut deserves a call up than any other defender that was called up. The rest of the defense is the same for the last call up.
Midfielders: Maciej Rybus returns to the national team after not being called up to the last grouping. Rybus is struggling this season for Legia Warszawa. Ariel Borysiuk and Adrian Mierzejewski were expected to get a call up. We already know Smuda really likes Mierzejewski and will continue to call him up. Two surprises on the list were Szymon Pawlowski and Cezary Wilk. I really didn't expect Wilk to get called up. I rather take Jacek Kielb over Wilk. I don't see Wilk or Pawlowski get another called up from Smuda.
Forwards: Artur Sobiech returns to the NT after a long lay-off. Sobiech has really impressed this season in the Ekstraklsa. The young forward has six goals and six assists for Polonia Warszawa. He needs to get more minutes at the NT level. During the Finland-Serbia-Spain friendlies, Sobiech only played the last couple of seconds. Without a surprise, Pawel Brozek and Kamil Grosicki are back. Dawid Nowak has also been called up. Nowak is a player who has been called-up for Poland numerous times with an injury always preventing him from playing. He is on fire now for GKS Belchatow and is ready to help Smuda's NT. Also its nice see that Tomasz Kupisz will get a chance. Kupisz has really impressed this season for Jagiellonia Bialystok and he deserves a call up. Not surprised that Ebi Smolarek wasn't called up. Lately hes been a bum for Polonia Warszawa.
My starting lineup against Bosnia and Herzegovina:
Sandomierski - Kikut, Jodlowiec, Wojtkowiak, Sadlok - Rybus, Borysiuk, Mierzejewski, Grosicki - Brozek, Nowak
Poland will play Bosnia and Herzegovina on December 10th in Turkey.
Here is the roster:
Goalkeepers: Bartosz Kaniecki (Widzew Lodz), Grzegorz Sandomierski (Jagiellonia Bialystok)
Defenders: Piotr Celeban (Slask Wroclaw), Tomasz Jodlowiec (Polonia Warszawa), Marcin Kikut (Lech Poznan), Maciej Sadlok (Ruch Chorzow), Hubert Wolakiewicz (Lechia Gdansk), Grzegorz Wojtkowiak (Lech Poznan)
Midfielders: Ariel Borysiuk (Legia Warszawa), Adrian Mierzejewski (Polonia Warszawa), Szymon Pawlowski (Zaglebie Lubin), Maciej Rybus (Legia Warszawa), Cezary Wilk (Wisla Krakow)
Forwards: Pawel Brozek (Wisla Krakow), Kamil Grosicki (Jagiellonia Bialystok), Tomasz Kupisz (Jagiellonia Bialystok), Dawid Nowak (GKS Belchatow), Artur Sobiech (Polonia Warszawa)
What do you think about the call ups? Any one missed out?
-"Definitely not. He should not go there. Its not a country for young players. If he wants to develop, he needs to play in Europe. Qatar is a good direction only from a financial standpoint. He could go there when hes 33 or 35 but not 23," Jacek Bak tells Futbolnews.pl.
Jacek Bak played for Al Rayyan from 2005-2007.
Goal.com gave Boruc a rating of 8 and the man of the match award. The Polish shot-stopper stood tall and proud between the posts. Made a plethora of heroic saves to allow his team to take a point back to Tuscany. Easily the man of the match.
Full match Highlights
Also on Saturday, Smuda's assistant Jacek Zielinski will travel to watch Widzew Lodz take on Gornik Zabrze. On Sunday, Zielinski and goalkeeper coach Jacek Kazimierski will travel to watch Polonia Warszawa take on Wisla Krakow.
On Saturday, Hubert Malowiejski will travel to watch Arka Gdynia take on Slask Wroclaw and on Sunday, he will travel to watch Jagiellonia Bialystok take on Ruch Chorzow.
For the last couple of weeks, Janczyk has been training with Legia Warszawa. Janczyk is still under contract with CSKA Moscow.
If Janczyk makes the move to Qatar, he'll be the second Polish player to play in the Qatar Stars League. Former Poland natioanl team captain Jacek Bak played for Al-Rayyan from 2005-2007.
Boruc, who transferred from Celtic in July, initially signed a contract for two years, with an option to extend it by one year.
The move may signify Fiorentina’s satisfaction with the Polish goalie, but only after Boruc was given a chance to show his skills for the first time during a Serie A match against Chievo Verona on 7 November.
Earlier Boruc had voiced that if he wouldn't see any action on the pitch then he would consider changing clubs. Now, the Polish keeper is number one after Sebastien Frey injured himself during training causing him to be out for the rest of the season.
Super Express: Your last name leaves no doubt that you come from a Polish family.
Chris Wondolowski: Yes, my grandfather from my dads side came to America from Poland. He was seven years old and was somewhere from around Warszawa.
Recently your name is becoming more and more popular in Poland. Some even say its worth giving you a shot at our national team?
I'd be eager to do so. Admittedly, I don't have Polish citizenship yet, but getting it should not be a problem considering my background. If your FA is interested, I invite them to get in touch with me.
Which national team would you rather play for? USA or Poland?
Both national teams are similar and at a good level. Theoretically, playing in the MLS brings me closer to me the U.S., but my dream is to play in Europe. Playing in Europe would bring me closer to the Polish natioanl team. Tell you right now, I'd say that I give 50 to 50.
Is it true that you were close to moving to Poland? To Arka Gdynia.
Its true. We negotiated, but it did not work out beacuse of financial reasons and family. So I stayed in San Jose but my goal is still playing in Europe. Then I'll be closer to the Polish natioanl team.
Would you like to see Wondolowski play for Poland?
Last time Poland played France was on November 17, 2004 and the final score showed 0-0.
Polska The Times: You returned from France after observing Damien Perquis. Will he be a Polish representative?
Frank Smuda: He will. The boy is great. On the pitch, but also as a person. He surprised me. I didn't know he knows so many words in Polish. It turned out that before I came to Sochaux, he enrolled into a course for learning Polish. We don't need to persuade him into anything. I also met his family and as soon as he gets his Polish passport, I will call him up.
What about Manuel Arboleda?
Manny? He can talk Polish non-stop. He lives here for five years.
Once, you announced that only players with Polish roots can play in your kadra.
I gently agree with that statement. There will only be players with Polish roots and one Arboleda.
After winning with Ivory Coast, will you take a vacation?
I'll take my vacation during Christmas. Right now I'm working to the fullest. I will fly to England to watch Tomasz Cywka. Hes one of the candidates to play in my kadra.
Will you fly to Florence? (Referring to Artur Boruc)
And this conversation was going so nicely. On purpose you want to get me mad.
-"I'll take young Ekstraklasa players such as Kupisz, Kucharczyk and Pawlowski," Smuda told Polska The Times.
This season Tomasz Kupisz is one of the best young players in the Ekstraklasa. The 20-year old midfielder could be a good alternative for Jakub Blaszczykowski.
18-year old Michal Kucharczyk plays well for Legia Warszawa. The forward was once observed by Chelsea scouts. In a couple for years, he will strengthen our national team. For now, the Legia Warszawa forward will travel to Turkey to learn how the grouping works.
24-year old Szymon Pawlowski lately had couple of serious injuries. Leo Beenhakker was once interested in him and now Smuda is taking a look at the Zaglebie Lubin midfielder. If only Pawlowski can stay healthy, he surly can help Smuda.
Who else do you think deserves a call up from Ekstraklasa?
Artur Boruc: Everything is up to the coach. If hes going to need me, I'll even walk from Florence.
Do you miss the national team?
Certainly I don't miss traveling in airplanes with the national team (laughing). Thats why we train in big clubs, to play for the national team. Thats my goal.
You don't regret what you said in an interview with nSport?
If someone tells stories that have nothing to do with the truth, I will not sit in silence. No, I don't regret.
Rumors were flying around that coach Smuda and his assistants were also drinking alcohol on the flied back from North America.
I wont say anything on this subject. If I said something, another scandal will pop out. I rather remain silent.
Is Fabianski and Tyton better than Artur Boruc?
I don't know. The one who stands in the goal is the one that the coach needs.
Did you watch Poland vs. Ivory Coast?
I support Poland so I watched the game. I'm happy that our national team won.
Did anyone from Smuda's staff contact you?
I don't have contact with anyone from the national team.
-"Last time when my dad visited me, I scored two goals. Now on the eyes of Jacek Zielinski, I scored a goal. When someone from Poland comes to watch me, I'm more effective," laughs Tomasz Cywka.
After the match, Cywka met with Jacek Zielinski. -"He told me that they will continue to monitor me and that coach Smuda will also travel to watch me in action," Cywka continued.
-"Jacek (Zielinski) was impressed by this young kid. He told me that he runs non-stop. I could see that hes one of the candidates to play in my kadra," Smuda told reporters.
To end 2010, Poland will face Bosnia and Herzegovina on December 10th in Turkey.
Looking ahead to 2011, in February, Poland will play two friendlies. One of which will be against Norway with the other opponent still to be finalized.
At the end of March, Poland will have a training camp in Greece and will play two friendlies, one against Greece and one against Lithuania.
On September 6th, Poland will take on Germany in the opening game of the new National Stadium in Warszawa.
The new PGE Arena in Gdansk will also see Poland take on a prestigious opponent in the opening match against France. Likewise, it is rumored that Italy will play Poland at the inaugural game in the new stadium in Wroclaw.
As for England, they are rumored to be playing Poland just ahead of the Euro 2012.
Rest Of The World
Zaglebie: Isailovic - Rymaniak, Horvath, Reina, Kocot - Pawlowski, M. Bartczak, Dabrowski, Hanzel (90. Osmanagic), Plizga - Traore (78. Kedziora).
Polonia: Szymon Gąsinski - Peter Hricko, Michal Hanek, Mateusz Zytko, Blazej Telichowski - Marcin Radzewicz, Szymon Sawala, Lukasz Tyminski, David Kobylik, Dariusz Jarecki (67. Blazej Vascak) - Mariusz Ujek (90. Grzegorz Podstawek).
Full match highlights
Did you watch Poland vs. Ivory Coast?
I only saw the second half. I couldn't watch the first half beacuse I was learning Polish. For the last couple of weeks, I have a teacher that teaches me Polish. I have class on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for an hour and a half.
Did you like Poland's match with Ivory Coast?
The second half was very good. Lewandowski is fantastic and Matuszczyk really impressed me. I'm really happy Obraniak scored beacuse hes my friend and I'm also impressed with Blaszczykowski's game. The defense also worked well.
I think your just being polite. Smuda admitted that we don't have good central defenders and thats why hes coming after you.
He (referring to Smuda) will be at Sochaux's match with Lorient. Our rivals will have Kevin Gameiro, a raising French star. I will be going against him so it should be an interesting match-up.
Tadeusz Fogiel, whose helping you with all the paperwork said that he Polish President should get involved.
I hope the Polish President gets involved. My grandmother was Polish but it is not easy finding all the papers, so we need support for the Polish President to speed up getting my passport. Without his help, it may take too long.
2. Arsenal-Tottenham Saturday 7:45 AM EST
Arsenal with Polish keeper Lukasz Fabianski will take on a very dangerous Tottenham Hotspurs side. Fabianski is coming off a solid performance with the Polish national team during the week. It will be another though test for Fabianski as rumors are flying around that Arsene Wenger is looking for a new goalkeeper.
3. Panathinaikos-Iraklis Saturday 12:30 PM EST
71-year old Polish coach Jacek Gmoch returns to the sideline to coach Greek side Panathinaikos. Gmoch signed a one month contract to take over Panathinaikos as they look for a new coach. The Polish coach will be in charge of his first official match since 2003. Currently, Panathinaikos side 2nd in the standings and will take on 6th place Iraklis.
4. Freiburg-Borussia Dortmund Saturday 9:30 AM EST
The Polish trio return to Bundesliga action after a short sting with the Polish national team. Hope to see Kuba Blaszczykowski back in Borussia Dortmunds starting lineup after starting on the bench in the last couple of games. Lukasz Piszczek whose been red hot lately will also try to continue his hot sting in the right side of BvB's defense. Borussia Dortmund have a easy 7 point lead over second place side Bayer Leverkusen in the standings.
5. GKS Belchatow-Polonia Warszawa Sunday 11:15 AM EST
Under pressure Polonia Warszawa take on lately cold GKS Belchatow in the last match of the 14th round of the Ekstraklasa. Polonia Warszawa is trying to stay with the big boys in the standings. They are only 6 points away from the leader Jagiellonia Bialystok. GKS Belchatow has dropped down lately in the standings and they haven't won a match since October 27th.
Which matches will you be watching this weekend?
Arka:Norbert Witkowski - Marciano Bruma, Ante Rozic (81. Krystian Zolnierewicz), Maciej Szmatiuk, Emil Noll - Mirko Ivanovski, Michal Plotka, Marcin Budzinski, Pawel Zawistowski, Tadas Labukas - Joseph Desire Mawaye (73. Wojciech Wilczynski).
1:0 Vrdoljak (penalty kick)
2:0 Witkowski (own goal)
PZP (Polish Union of Footballers) has announced its nominations for the Polish player of the year and other Ekstraklasa awards. Here are the nominates:
2010 Polish Player of the Year
Jakub Blaszczykowski (Borussia Dortmund)
Ireneusz Jelen (AJ Auxerre)
Robert Lewandowski (Lech Poznan/Borussia Dortmund)
2010 Ekstraklasa Player of the Year
Tomasz Frankowski (Jagiellonia Białystok)
Robert Lewandowski (Lech Poznan)
Adrian Mierzejewski (Polonia Warszawa)
2010 Ekstraklasa Discovery of the Year
Tomasz Kupisz (Jagiellonia Bialystok)
Grzegorz Sandomierski (Jagiellonia Bialystok)
Waldemar Sobota (Slask Wrocław)
2010 Ekstraklasa Best Young Player of the Year
Ariel Borysiuk (Legia Warszawa)
Jacek Kielb (Korona Kielce/Lech Poznan)
Patryk Malecki (Wisła Krakow)
Who in your opinion should win the awards?
**Sometime in December, PolandSoccer.blogspot.com will hold its 2nd annual Polish Soccer awards.
English papers informed that Tomasz Kuszczak is expected to leave Old Trafford this upcoming summer.
Where should Kuszczak move? Stay in England? Move to another country?
In the Greek table Panathinaikos currently occupy second place. Their last match against AEL Larissa FC ended in a draw 1:1. Following this match, the club sacked Nikos Nioplias. His responsibilities will now be by Gmoch.
This is Gmoch's first manager role in almost a decade, having last coached in 2003.
-"You do not deny Panathinaikos. I accepted this proposal, and decide through the details of our cooperation. I have not yet lead a training session yet because the players had a day off on Monday. I was asked to help, I could not refuse my friends. I will remain the coach of this team until they find a successor. We do not know when it will be," said the 71-year old Gmoch, who agreed to lead the team for a month.
The Polish coach will have the opportunity to lead Panathinaikos in a famous match against FC Barcelona. The Greeks will face the "pride of Catalonia" side at home on November 24 for the UEFA Champions League.