Bumper Poland squad named for Nations League quadruple-header

(photo: Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty Images)

Poland national team coach Czesław Michniewicz has named his squad for the upcoming Nations League games against Wales, Belgium and Netherlands. 39 players have been called for the four matches, starting with the opener against Wales in Wrocław.

Youth

With such a big squad, it’s unsurprising to see plenty of youth. As a former U21 coach, Michniewicz has always felt comfortable promoting young players, and the four games in quick succession mean there is a chance that some could see playing time.

Both Jakub Kamiński and Nicola Zalewski return to the squad after having been originally brought into the fold by Michniewicz’s predecessor, Paulo Sousa. The duo have been in impressive form for their clubs in recent months; Kamiński an important part of Lech Poznań’s title-winning team, and Zalewski having played solidly at wing-back in Roma’s push to the UEFA Europa Conference League final.

Michniewicz has also seen fit to appoint a handful of rookies. Defender Kamil Pestka receives a first call-up, having scored four in his last four games for Cracovia, while centre-back Jakub Kiwior has been earning rave reviews at Italian club Spezia. There is also a selection for Illinois-born goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina, despite having made seven appearances for the United States at youth level and even being called up to their senior squad for a training camp earlier this year!

Returns

Having missed out on the World Cup play-off against Sweden, MIchniewicz has been able to appoint both Mateusz Klich and Kamil Jóźwiak for the first time. Leeds midfielder Klich was not selected in the coach’s first squad, having been unavailable for the Sweden match through suspension; while Jóźwiak missed out through illness, having only just transferred to Charlotte FC from Derby County.

There is also a long-awaited return for Cagliari’s Sebastian Walukiewicz, who spent the best part of a year on the sidelines with a hip injury. He is promoted back to the senior side having more recently been named in Maciej Stolarczyk’s U21 squad.

Elsewhere, Karol Linetty returns to the squad, despite falling out of favour at Torino; Damian Szymański reappears having last been seen in November’s World Cup qualifiers, and Karol Świderski is back in contention after pulling out of the last squad through injury.

Omissions

Despite the depth of the bumper squad, there are several regular names missing – injuries forcing Michniewicz to put a little more thought into his squad.

From the coach’s first selection, four defenders are missing this time out. Having been forced to withdraw with Covid in March, Maciej Rybus surprisingly misses out again; Bartosz Salamon and Michał Helik are out for the season through adductor and ankle injuries respectively; and Arkadiusz Reca has also failed to make the cut.

Also missing from the squad through injury is Brighton midfielder Jakub Moder, after his ligament rupture suffered against Norwich.

Schedule

Poland start their Nations League campaign against Wales, on 1st June at Wrocław’s Tarczyński Arena. From there they travel firstly to Brussels, to face Belgium on 8th June, and then to Rotterdam to play against Netherlands three days later. Finally, Michniewicz’s charges return to Warsaw, where they will once again play against Belgium, at the Stadion Narodowy, on 14th June.


POLAND SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Bartłomiej Drągowski (Fiorentina), Kamil Grabara (FC Copenhagen), Gabriel Slonina (Chicago Fire), Łukasz Skorupski (Bologna), Wojciech Szczęsny (Juventus).

Defenders: Jan Bednarek (Southampton), Bartosz Bereszyński (Sampdoria), Matty Cash (Aston Villa), Kamil Glik (Benevento), Robert Gumny (FC Augsburg), Marcin Kamiński (Schalke 04), Tomasz Kędziora (Lech Poznań), Jakub Kiwior (Spezia), Patryk Kun (Raków Częstochowa), Kamil Pestka (Cracovia), Tymoteusz Puchacz (Trabzonspor), Sebastian Walukiewicz (Cagliari), Mateusz Wieteska (Legia Warszawa), Nicola Zalewski (AS Roma).

Midfielders: Krystian Bielik (Derby County), Przemysław Frankowski (RC Lens), Jacek Góralski (Kairat Almaty), Kamil Grosicki (Pogoń Szczecin), Kamil Jóźwiak (Charlotte FC), Jakub Kamiński (Lech Poznań), Mateusz Klich (Leeds United), Grzegorz Krychowiak (AEK Athens), Karol Linetty (Torino), Konrad Michalik (Konyaspor), Przemysław Płacheta (Norwich City), Damian Szymański (AEK Athens), Sebastian Szymański (Dynamo Moscow), Piotr Zieliński (Napoli), Szymon Żurkowski (Empoli).

Strikers: Adam Buksa (New England Revolution), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Arkadiusz Milik (Marseille), Krzysztof Piątek (Fiorentina), Karol Świderski (Charlotte FC).

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