Kylian Mbappe led France in seeking their ticket to the last 16 of the World Cup when they take on Poland in the round of 16 at the Al-Thumama Stadium on Sunday.
Didier Deschamps’ side made it past the group stage and advanced to the round of 16 with one game to go, allowing Deschamps to rest his main players in France’s match against Tunisia.
Les Blues made nine wholesale changes for their game against the North African opponent and went down surprisingly 1-0 in their last group match, with Adrien Rabiot, Kylian Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele and Antoine Griezmann coming off the bench late on. of the party play.
Despite their loss, France enter the game heavy favorites to beat Poland after breaking the long-standing curse of underachievers by becoming the first defending World Cup champions to reach the round of 16 since Brazil in 2006.
Needless to say, Mbappe was France’s talisman in the group stage, scoring three times in Les Bleus’ first two group games, having opened his account in a 4-1 win over Australia before getting a brace to drag his country into the final. line in a difficult game against Denmark.
The France superstar will have his sights set on winning the coveted World Cup Golden Boot, and this game against a weak Polish defense could provide him with an excellent opportunity to distance himself from the rest of the chasing group as France look to put Poland in the sword here.
On the other hand, Poland advanced to the round of 16 by a hair, mainly after their 2-0 loss to Argentina in the last game of the group stage.
At one point, the whites and reds were on their way to round 16 only because they had fewer yellow cards than Mexico, but Saudi Arabia‘s late goal in simultaneous play guaranteed Poland reached the round of 16 for the first time since 1986. .
They are clearly the underdogs here, and much of their hopes will rest on the shoulders of the prolific Pole, Robert Lewandowski, who recently broke his World Cup duck with a goal against Saudi Arabia.
Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has kept Poland’s hopes alive so far in the tournament. He has saved two penalties and is set for another busy night between the sticks for Poland here.
Confirmed lineups for France vs Poland
France XI (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Koundé, Varane, Upamecano, T. Hernández; Tchouameni, Rabiot; Dembélé, Griezmann, Mbappé; giroud
Poland XI (3-4-2-1): Szczesny; Bereszynski, Glik, Kiwior; Cash, Szymanski, Krychowiak, Frankowski; Kaminski, Zielinski; Lewandowski
France vs Poland LIVE Updates Upcoming Matches from France and Poland
The winner of this match will face the round of 16 winner England against Senegal in the round of 16 next Saturday. With France and England the heavy favorites to emerge victorious today, an exciting quarter-final tie could be on the cards.