Poland’s Robert Lewandowski on Germany: ‘Maybe they will be too confident’

Poland are chasing an historic first win over world champions Germany in Warsaw on Saturday with top spot in their Euro 2016 qualifying group at stake.

Polish national soccer team players Arkadiusz Milik, left, Thiago Cionek, Robert Lewandowski and Waldemar Sobota warm up during their team's training session in Warsaw, Poland, on October 7, 2014. Poland will face Germany on Saturday in their upcoming Euro 2016 qualifying soccer matche. EPA/Bartlomiej Zborowski
Powered by automated translation

WARSAW // Poland are chasing an historic first win over world champions Germany in Warsaw on Saturday with top spot in their Euro 2016 qualifying group at stake.

Adam Nawalka’s Poland top Group D on goal difference by virtue of their 7-0 rout of minnows Gibraltar in their opening match.

But Joachim Loew’s Germany are hard on their heels after seeing off Scotland 2-1 in their opener in Dortmund last month.

Poland are searching for a maiden win over their neighbours at the 19th attempt, while the Germans are rebuilding after several key retirements in the wake of their World Cup triumph and a host of injuries.

Both veteran defenders Philipp Lahm and Per Mertesacker have retired, while Loew has a mounting injury list to contend with including new captain Bastian Schweinsteiger, plus Sami Khedira, Marco Reus, Mesut Ozil and Mario Gomez.

Germany still boast an impressive recent international record.

They are unbeaten in 18 competitive matches and have not lost any of their last 33 qualifiers since a 3-0 home defeat to the Czech Republic in October 2007.

Staggeringly, Germany’s last away defeat in a qualifying match was a 3-0 loss against Portugal in June 2000.

Poland have scored just once in their six competitive meetings against either Germany or West Germany, but the visitors are taking nothing for granted.

“Poland are the sort of team who will put up a fight, they have good technical players, they have evolved and are more compact,” said Germany’s assistant coach Thomas Schneider.

“They are certainly a team who will demand a lot from us.”

Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski is hoping to trouble Germany’s goalkeeper and stand-in captain Manuel Neuer, his teammate at the Bavarian giants.

The Polish hot-shot wants the hosts to catch their powerful guests cold after he scored four goals in last month’s rout of Gibraltar.

“Maybe they will be too confident after winning the World Cup. Maybe they will oversleep a little and we will be able to take advantage,” Lewandowski, who has plied his trade in the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund, then Bayern, told UEFA.com.

“We know their qualities, but we will not park a bus in our penalty area.”

Germany have targeted six points from their next two games including next Tuesday’s visit by the Republic of Ireland to Gelsenkirchen, but the hosts are dreaming of an upset.

“If we beat Germany, we will write new chapter in Polish football history as we have never beaten them,” said Poland defender Kamil Glik.

“Matches against Germany are always special. We are full of adrenaline.”

With Khedira and Schweinsteiger out, Loew is set to name Christoph Kramer in the defensive midfield and Bayer Leverkusen’s Karim Bellarabi is set to complete his fairytale rise with his first international appearance.

The 24-year-old attacking midfielder spent last season on loan at relegated Eintracht Braunschweig, but is now leading the Leverkusen attack.

Dortmund’s Erik Durm and Hoffenheim’s Sebastian Rudy are set to feature at left and right back respectively as Loew looks to settle on his prefered back four with Lahm and Mertesacker now in retirement.

Follow our sports coverage on twitter at @SprtNationalUAE