England warning: Poland plan 'a little fun' at Wembley
England need a win on Tuesday night, but well-supported visitors have other ideas
POLAND captain Jakub Blaszczykowski has warned England that his side will aim to shatter their World Cup dream tomorrow night.
The Three Lions host Poland knowing that victory will guarantee them a place at next year's World Cup in Brazil after their impressive 4-1 win over Montenegro on Friday.
Poland suffered a 1-0 defeat to the Ukraine on the same evening, a loss that ended their thin hopes of qualifying for next year's tournament, but they could yet play a part in determining the outcome of Group H.
The Ukraine play San Marino on Tuesday and with three points certain the pressure is on England to defeat Poland at Wembley. They'll have home advantage but Blaszczykowski believes his side will have ample support of their own: "There are sure to be many Polish fans there," said the Borussia Dortmund winger. "We want to thank them with a good game and the right result."
According to the BBC, some 18,000 tickets have been sold to Poland fans.
The Poles held England to a 1-1 draw when the teams met in Warsaw last year but Blaszczykowski says a trip to London is always a special occasion. "It doesn't matter that we only have honour to play for. Matches at Wembley are always very important to us."
His sentiments were echoed by Poland striker Robert Lewandowski, who promised to give their fans something to cheer by taking the game to the English. "We don't stand a chance of going through, but we want to go to Wembley and at least allow our supporters a little fun," said Lewandowski.
England are unbeaten in Group H, winning five of their nine matches and drawing the other four, to leave them one point ahead of the Ukraine on 19. The football hasn't always been pretty and manager Roy Hodgson and his players have come in for plenty of criticism along the way, but that will all be forgotten if England qualify top of the group tomorrow night.
To do that they'll have to ensure there's no repetition of the infamous night in 1973 when Poland denied Sir Alf Ramsey's England the win they needed to qualify for the 1974 World Cup.
That 1-1 draw dented Ramsey's reputation and Hodgson knows his own image will take a battering should England mess up on Tuesday. "If we're lucky and they decide not to turn up and allow us to stroll through them, so be it, but I'm not expecting that," said Hodgson, who announced on Sunday that Ashley Cole has failed to shrug off a rib injury and will miss the game. "I think they will come here and want to win the game like they did in 1973."
That was certainly the message from Poland coach Waldemar Fornalik, who promised: "We will play against England with our strongest team. The game is very important as we would like to leave a positive impression with our performance in the last game." ·