England vs Poland England vs Poland Stones … ratings: 2-1 John player error makes England bad Poland
Wed, 31 Mar 2021 10:00:00 +0100
Who impressed and who did not as England edged past Poland in a vital World Cup qualifier at Wembley? Check out the player ratings from England's 2-1 win
Who impressed and who did not as England edged past Poland in a vital World Cup qualifier at Wembley? Check out the player ratings from England’s 2-1 win on Wednesday evening…
Wednesday 31 March 2021 23:51, UK
Harry Maguire’s late strike secured a 2-1 win for England over Poland at Wembley and an important three points towards World Cup qualification.
Harry Kane’s first-half penalty had put England in control with Poland offering little at the other end but an error from John Stones put the result back in the balance until Maguire fired home the winner.
Here are the player ratings…
A huge vote of confidence for the Burnley goalkeeper during these trio of World Cup qualifiers, Pope has started the lot with Jordan Pickford unavailable and looked on course for three clean sheets before Stones’ second-half error.
It was the first goal Pope has let in during his England career.
There was little he could do and little he could do to impress beyond that.
His handling was assured but one left-footed hack in the first half will ensure that questions about his footwork remain, particularly when compared to the more composed Pickford.
Still, a reliable series of displays.
The right-back slot is fiercely contested in this England squad but Walker appears to have re-established himself as first choice.
The most experienced option is perhaps the most versatile having operated on the right of a back three but he looks even more comfortable now in a four.
Occasionally drifting inside into a midfield position, as he does at club level for Manchester City, Walker was the less adventurous of the full-backs but looked relatively untroubled.
With no more internationals before that tournament squad is announced, it looks his place to lose now.
Back in the squad and back in the starting line-up, the Manchester City defender has had his ups and downs since the World Cup but looked to have found his form in good time to take his place for the Euros.
However, his error in an important match is a reminder of familiar old failings.
Stones had plenty of time but was too casual and was caught out by a poor touch.
One mistake and England’s night changed course.
Will Southgate do the same? So strong has Stones been for his club that his return to the fold sparked a switch of formation.
Will this error prompt another rethink? Perhaps not.
Stones’ header in the build-up to the winner showed his character.
The Manchester United skipper remains a certainty in defence and it was a good individual display from England’s first-choice centre-back.
He was able to win the ball high up the pitch and carried the ball out from the back with real confidence, particularly early on, as the home team probed.
Maguire did try to salvage the situation following Stones’ mistake but could not quite get across to cut out the shot.
He went and turned the game back in England’s favour at the other end, leathering the ball into the Poland net to secure a vital three points for his team.
The form of the recalled Luke Shaw did cast some doubt over Chilwell’s place in the starting line-up, especially at a time when he has been in and out under Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea.
But the left-back retained his place for this crucial World Cup qualifier and delivered a good performance.
That left flank looked England’s best bet of breaking through Poland’s defence right from the start and Chilwell was a willing runner throughout, always the outlet for his team-mates.
When the Poland goal turned the tide, he did look a little less comfortable running back in the other direction.
Injury to Jordan Henderson coupled with Gareth Southgate’s insistence on a double pivot at the heart of the midfield, has presented an opportunity for the Leeds United man and the signs are that he is taking it.
He completed all 26 of his passes in the first half against Poland.
Phillips showed signs of being more than a holding midfielder, popping up inside the box inside the third minute and taking on corner duties as well.
But is his inclusion still too cautious? That debate will continue but if Jordan Henderson cannot prove his fitness, he may well start at the Euros.
Enjoying an impressive season at West Ham, Rice is surely one of the first names on Southgate’s team-sheet these days and this performance was a fine example of precisely why that is the case.
It was his maturity in midfield that allowed England to attack in numbers without too much to fear.
Sweeping up and snuffing out danger, tidying up on the edge of his own area, it is a vital role and one Rice, at just 22, is mastering.
The interceptions continued all game and the distribution was typically reliable.
A certainty for the starting line-up against Croatia.
Already an established favourite of the England manager, Mount has enhanced his already sky-high reputation during these World Cup qualifiers.
This was another strong performance from the Chelsea midfielder, enjoying the space he was able to find in a deeper role off the left channel.
Mount just increases the tempo of any performance but it was his use of the ball that impressed too, threading passes in behind to find the runs of Chilwell and Sterling ahead of him.
At 22, he is fast making himself indispensable regardless of England’s formation or his position in it.
The supremely gifted Manchester City youngster did not help his cause in Iceland last autumn but that is long forgotten now – Foden is just too good to be made to wait for long.
Playing off the right flank, cutting inside on his favoured left, the array of smart touches were in evidence all evening.
He headed over the game’s first chance then thought he had a penalty before pressing to set up the one that England did win.
Foden’s glorious first touch that set up Harry Kane for a chance in the first half summed up the quality he can bring.
Snatched at a chance with his right after the break, though.
Jose Mourinho will be grateful that Kane sat out the San Marino game, but the England skipper was a certain starter against Poland and added yet another goal to his tally with the breakthrough strike from the spot.
Wojciech Szczesny dived right, Kane went down the middle.
England goal number 33.
That 19th-minute goal was only the Tottenham striker’s fifth touch of the match but he was soon having more of an influence, forcing a good save low to Szczesny’s right soon after.
There are a plethora of forward options waiting in the wings but England’s target man and talisman is Kane.
After missing out on a half a dozen England games earlier in the season, Sterling has started all three of these World Cup qualifiers and shown his value to the team.
Coming deeper for the ball from the outset, there were signs he would be crowded out early on but he soon started causing problems.
It was Sterling who won the penalty for Kane’s opener and the sight of the Manchester City man running at the defence inside the area became a feature.
He might have doubled the lead when looking for Foden and was then denied at the last following another slaloming run.
Impressive before tiring.
Introduced late on as England switched to five at the back in an attempt to tighten up and secure the victory.
There was one unconvincing clearance with his left foot but had little else to do.
Having made no substitutions while England were chasing a winner, Southgate soon changed tack once England had the lead.
The Everton man was given a few minutes, coming on for Kane.
Another England cap for Lingard, another attempt by Southgate to punctuate the rhythm of the match as the clock ran down in the closing moments.
England play Austria (June 2) and Romania (June 6) in their Euro 2020 warm-up games, before kicking off the tournament against Croatia at Wembley on June 12 in the group stages.
Gareth Southgate must name his England squad for the tournament by 11pm on June 1, but he is expected to announce it before that date.
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England vs Poland England vs Poland
Wed, 31 Mar 2021 10:00:00 +0100
England's game against Poland is their last before Gareth Southgate names his Euro 2020 squad; follow England vs Poland in our dedicated match blog and
England’s game against Poland is their last before Gareth Southgate names his Euro 2020 squad; follow England vs Poland in our dedicated match blog and watch free match highlights on Sky Sports’ digital platforms 15 minutes after full-time
Wednesday 31 March 2021 17:58, UK
Phil Foden is expected to start for England as Gareth Southgate’s side take on Poland on Wednesday in their final World Cup Qualifier of this international break, while Mason Mount faces a late fitness test ahead of the game at Wembley.
Foden is expected to start the game whether or not Mount is fit after the Chelsea midfielder sat out of the first part of Tuesday’s session.
He undertook recovery work in the gym, while the rest of the 24-man squad trained ahead of the match.
Southgate has delayed telling the players who will start the World Cup Qualifier to give Mount the maximum time to prove his fitness.
Foden is expected to be positioned on the left of an attacking three, with Raheem Sterling on the right and Harry Kane through the middle.
James Ward-Prowse, who scored in the 5-0 victory against San Marino, has returned to Southampton after being rested for Wednesday’s game as a fitness precaution.
Southgate’s final selection for Euro 2020 is likely to be made in late May, with the tournament kicking off on June 11 and England’s first game against Croatia at Wembley on June 13.
England will play two pre-tournament friendlies against Austria and Romania before the Euros, but Wednesday’s clash with Poland is the last competitive game before that big announcement and should help the manager further firm up ideas about personnel and formation.
Southgate will be mindful that the likes of Jordan Pickford, Jordan Henderson and Jack Grealish have missed the March internationals due to injury, but fans will be keen to see some glimpses of how England could shape up for Euro 2020.
Sky Sports News reporter Kaveh Solhekol:
“It’s been perfect so far, as far as Southgate is concerned – two games, two wins, no injuries and he’s been able to manage the minutes.
He was asked whether he’d pick his strongest side for Poland and I just detected a hint of frustration – he understands the need to manage his relationship with Premier League clubs but stressed there comes a point when rotation has to stop so that suggested he would be playing his strongest side.
“Southgate will be trying to narrow down his squad now.
Follow England vs Poland in our dedicated match blog and watch free match highlights on Sky Sports’ digital platforms 15 minutes after full-time.
“He’ll have learned that this squad is stronger than what he had at Russia – there’s competition for places all over the pitch.
There are at least another seven or eight players who are not in the squad at the moment but who have hopes of making it for the Euros.
“Certainly there are several players who missed out on this squad but, I think, will definitely be at the Euros if fit: Jordan Henderson, who’s recovering from a groin operation, Jack Grealish – everyone wants to see him play, it seems – and Jadon Sancho, who’s out injured at the moment.
If they are fit, that means some players will have to drop out.
“I think Southgate’s strongest front three as he sees it are Kane, Sterling and Rashford.
There was an argument six months to a year ago about Sancho vs Rashford but Sancho has had an injury, hasn’t played much, and is still maturing.
“Dominic Calvert-Lewin is absolutely the back-up to Kane and Mount has impressed me massively – I think he’s a shoo-in not just for the squad, but for the starting XI.
“A couple of other players have enhanced their prospects – Foden played really well against Albania and I think he’s almost certain to be in the squad now.
Bellingham – we’ve heard Southgate speak in glowing terms about him – it seems he’ll be in the squad too.
Phillips has started both games and Ward-Prowse has played well too.”
Sky Sports News reporter Rob Dorsett:
“This is a key game for England – they’ve only got two friendlies before the Euros so Southgate will see this as a real marker of where his side are at.
“The biggest takeaway for me so far is that in his absence, Jordan Pickford has consolidated his position as No 1.
It’s strange because he hasn’t played and though I mean no disrespect to Nick Pope, who has become the first England goalkeeper to keep six clean sheets in his first six games, his distribution at times was average and poor by own high standards; Burnley don’t play the ball out from the back.
If Pickford is fit, he’s No 1.
“I’m surprised Jude Bellingham hasn’t been given more game-time.
I don’t think he’ll start against Poland and I get the impression Southgate has decided Mount could be that No.
8 over Bellingham, if he decides to play Mount there.
“Trent Alexander-Arnold I think is a shoo-in, I think this is only temporary.
But I think it will be difficult for James Maddison to force his way in.
At the moment I think it also looks like either Mings or Coady will make the squad if you think Maguire and Stones are shoo-ins and you think Dier and Walker can play in different positions.
It looks like Coady, who has captained England and whom Southgate sees as a leader, is ahead of Mings in the thinking right now.”
The boss on @masonmount_10: "He didn’t warm up with the rest of the team today, but he did the rest of the session after so he should be fine." pic.twitter.com/IGDXVckljd
There are doubts over the availability of Mason Mount.
The Chelsea midfielder took part in a gym recovery session on Tuesday morning.
He joined in with full training with the squad later in the day but will face a late fitness test.
Southgate said: “No, he didn’t warm up with the team but he did the rest of the session with the team.
He should be fine.
They are all available as far as we are concerned.”
The rest of the 25-man squad trained as normal ahead of the game at Wembley.
England currently lead World Cup Qualifying Group I as the only side to have won their first two matches, with Poland tied for second on four points with Hungary.
England thrashed San Marino 5-0 in their opening game on Thursday before easing to a 2-0 win in Albania on Sunday, while Poland drew 3-3 away to Hungary in their first Group I game, before winning at home to minnows Andorra.
England vs Poland – kick-off 7.45pm, follow with our live blog and watch free highlights 15 minutes after full-time
Andorra vs Hungary – kick-off 7.45pm, live on Sky Sports Football red button
San Marino vs Albania – kick-off 7.45pm, live on Sky Sports Football red button
The visit of Poland has been billed as a much sterner test for Southgate and his side following their wins over San Marino and Albania, but Poland have plenty of problems of their own as they head to Wembley for what is seen as a crucial fixture in Group I.
In what is a huge blow for Paulo Sousa’s side, Robert Lewandowski will miss the game against England on Wednesday due to a knee injury.
A statement from the Polish FA on Monday morning said Lewandowski, who captains the national side, had sustained ligament damage in his right knee and would be out for up to 10 days.
The 32-year-old striker, who has 42 goals in just 36 games for Bayern Munich in all competitions this season, has now returned to the German side.
Earlier in the week, Poland confirmed two more coronavirus cases in their camp, with midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak and defender Kamil Piatkowski both record positive COVID-19 results.
However, the Polish FA has confirmed to Sky Sports News the game will go ahead as planned and Krychowiak has now returned a negative test.
He is expected to join up with the squad in London and could start on Wednesday.
It means the total number of positive results in the Poland squad is now up to three after back-up goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski and Leeds United’s Mateusz Klich were both ruled out due to the virus.
The Polish Football Association’s media officer Jakub Kwiatkowski has also tested positive.
Although Poland will be without their captain and star striker in Lewandowski, Southgate will not be taking the team lightly.
He said: “I think Poland have got some excellent players and we would be naive to think they would be less of a threat.
“If we take our foot off the gas for one minute we will be hurt.
We need to be ready for the game, which we are.
A team isn’t just about one player and we have to prepare for the highest level.”
Gareth Southgate might be edging closer to his big Euro 2020 decision but who would be in your squad for the tournament? Pick your 23-man squad below and share your selection.
Plenty of you have already picked your squads – and we have pulled together the England XI for the opening European Championship fixture against Croatia as picked by Sky Sports readers…
How does tour XI compare to others? Head here to find out…
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– March 31, 2021
England vs Poland 2021 England 2.1 Poland player ratings. John Stones makes bad error .
world cup qualifiers, england poland, Lewandowski, poland vs england