Head To Head
England and Poland have faced off 18 times in their history, with England coming out on top in the all time win percentage. We have won 10, drawn 7 and lost just the one game to Poland. We have scored 28 goals against them, where as they have managed just 11 past us. That's a good omen for our chances of securing the result we need on Tuesday to take us through to the final.
I'm sorry to do this to everyone, but the first key match makes for uncomfortable reading:
England 1-1 Poland. 1974 World Cup Qualification Match
Heading into the contest England needed to win to ensure their qualification through to the 1974 World Cup finals being held in West Germany. They had experienced a defeat in Poland earlier in the qualification process to the tune of 2-0. However the confidence was high going into the game, as Alf Ramsey's side had just beaten Austria 7-0. Many believed it to be foregone conclusion and Brian Clough famously called the Poland keeper Jam Tomaszewski a "Clown". However those words would haunt England as the Polish keeper pulled off some incredible saves, and the 35 shots that England reigned down on the goal only amounted to one goal.
Poland 0-3 England. World Cup Finals Group Stage, Mexico 1986
This time England found it easier to break down the Polish defense, and the keeper Jozef Mlynarczyk could not pull off any heroics to deny Bobby Robson's team. Gary Lineker found the net three times to ensure England's safe passage through the group stage. This England team was full of talent, the likes of Lineker, Beardsley, Trevor Stevens, Glenn Hoddle, Terry Butcher, Peter Shilton etc etc. It was only thanks to Maradonna's infamous cheating with the "Hand Of God" goal that they did not go on to do greater things. Even so, they managed to exact some revenge on Poland with this performance in South America.
England and Poland have been drawn in five World Cup Qualifying campaigns in their history, as well as two European Championship qualifying campaigns and one World Cup group. Lets make sure that this game goes down in history for all the right reasons and not all the wrong reasons like in 1974.