Senegal out to blow away Poland in Group H clash

Senegal out to blow away Poland in Group H clash
Senegal's Idrissa Gueye (R) in action against Croatia's Luka Modric (L)

by Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Jun 18, 2018. 12:55

Senegal will lock horns with Poland in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Group H match at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow on Tuesday.

Kick-off is at 17h00 CAT.

The Lions of Teranga are looking to hit the ground running in their return to the global tournament. They reached the quarterfinals in their debut appearance in 2002.

England-based trio Idrissa Gueye, Cheikhou Kouyate and Sadio Mane are Senegal’s key players and they will be hoping to play an important role in helping their nation beat Poland.

Senegal head coach Aliou Cisse has urged his charges to stay grounded ahead of their first Group H encounter.

“We are always dreaming. I think we should start small‚ dream big and think big for the World Cup,” Cisse said.

"But do not get carried away. It should not be that people put us in a favourite position only because Senegal was a quarterfinalist at the 2002 World Cup.

“It would be a big mistake on our part (to be over-confident). Having players at top clubs in Europe does not mean a great national team. Otherwise Herve Renard would not have won the Afcon (Africa Cup of Nations) with Zambia (in 2012).”

Meanwhile, Poland will be eyeing a winning start to their group stage campaign having failed to qualify for the last two World Cup finals.

Adam Nawalka, the White and Reds head coach, has world class players such as Piotr Zielinski and Robert Lewandowski at his disposal.

SSC Napoli attacking midfielder Zielinski has been tipped to play an important role for Poland in Russia.

“I am a fast runner but Piotr is a very fast thinker,” says his Poland team-mate Kamil Grosicki.

“Great technique, knows exactly where to put a ball, predicts what can happen and chooses the best solution like a chess player.

“He can give us a lot in Russia. He’s the biggest talent in Poland.”

Senegal and Poland will meet for the first time. Bahrainian referee Nawaf Shukralla will be in charge of the game.

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