England v Poland: Full match preview and stats for World Cup qualifier

Steve Gerrard scored the last time England played Poland in October 2013
Venue: Wembley Date: Wednesday, 31 March Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live, text commentary on the BBC Sport website

Mason Mount should be fit for England’s World Cup 2022 qualifier against Poland at Wembley on Wednesday, says Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate.

Midfielder Mount, 22, had been a doubt after failing to appear for the warm-up before Tuesday’s training session.

“He did the rest of the session so he should be fine,” added Southgate.

Poland’s Grzegorz Krychowiak, who tested positive for Covid-19 along with Kamil Piatkowski, is allowed to feature after a second test came back negative.

Robert Lewandowski is injured, while Mateusz Klich and Lukasz Skorupski previously tested positive for Covid.

Speaking about the availability of Krychowiak, Poland head coach Paulo Sousa said: “It’s a huge boost, with his quality and experience.”

England are looking for a third successive win in this qualifying campaign after beating San Marino and Albania.

Chelsea’s Mount started both of those games and Southgate could call on his services again for what is a key game in qualifying.

England start two points clear of Poland at the top of Group I.

‘I’ve got no worries about Kane’

This is England’s final competitive game before they face Croatia on 13 June in the delayed Euro 2020 tournament.

Speculation over the future of Three Lions captain Harry Kane has been present throughout this international camp with the Tottenham striker yet to win any major silverware with his club side.

Spurs are sixth in the Premier League table, three points off a Champions League spot, while they face Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final on 25 April.

Southgate does not expect Kane to be distracted by the speculation, with the European Championship looming.

“He is always focused on the next match, he’s someone who can absolutely put anything to one side,” added the England boss.

“I’ve got no worries about Harry Kane, he’s a fantastic professional.

“I had a chat with him and he’s very positive about the club. He was speaking about being close to Champions League and the League Cup final.”

Kane, who scored one and made one in Sunday’s 2-0 win away to Albania, is poised to win his 53rd England cap against Poland.

England are two points clear the top of Group I in World Cup 2022 qualifying

‘Southgate has one of the best national teams’

Poland arrive at Wembley on the back of a 3-0 win over Andorra on Sunday.

But the loss of Lewandowski, who scored two in that game and another in the previous qualifier, a 3-3 draw with Hungary, to a knee injury is a major blow.

Southgate, though, believes Poland are a team full of quality despite Lewandowski’s absence.

“From our perspective you’re going to have some players very hungry to fill that opportunity,” he said.

“They’re a proud country and proud players. We need to keep stepping up.”

Poland boss is Sousa, has experience managing in England and Wales with QPR, Swansea and Leicester.

“The Premier League is the best league in the world and Gareth Southgate has one of the best national teams in the world,” said the Portuguese.

“We need to take care with the spaces between the lines and to defend well the space behind our defensive line.”

Match facts

  • England have lost just one of their 19 matches against Poland (W11 D7), losing 2-0 in a World Cup qualifier in June 1973 in Chorzow.
  • The Three Lions have won their past seven home matches against Poland, a run stretching back to 1989.
  • This is the seventh World Cup group stage qualification campaign to see England face Poland, the most of two nations in the history of European World Cup qualifying.
  • England have lost just one of their past 49 World Cup/European Championship qualifying matches, losing 2-1 against the Czech Republic in October 2019. At home, the Three Lions are unbeaten in 29 qualifiers (W26 D3), winning each of their past 19.
  • Since losing three games in the 2014 World Cup qualification campaign (including defeat by England), Poland have lost just three of their subsequent 32 matches in World Cup/European Championship qualifying (W23 D6).
  • Nick Pope has kept a clean sheet in each of his six England appearances, the first Three Lions goalkeeper not to concede in any of their first six caps.

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