Euro 2016: Switzerland vs Poland - 5 players to watch out for
The gloves are off, as we enter the business end of Euro 2016. Having had a period of acclimatisation and a chance to get into their grooves, all the remaining 16 teams will know that the sprint to the finish line begins here and now. There are no more second chances, and the team that makes the fewest number of mistakes and capitalises on the mistakes of others, will emerge unscathed, come the first week of July.
Switzerland and Poland kick off the set of fixtures for the round of 16 of Euro 2016, to decide the quarter-finalists. For Switzerland, the group stage was characterised by gritty displays which saw them earn a victory against Albania and draws against France and Romania. The Swiss, while solid in midfield, are yet to discover their mojo in attack and managed only 2 goals in their 3 group matches.
Poland emerged second only to reigning world champions Germany in group C on goal difference. Tied for the top spot with 2 victories and a draw, qualification for the next round was never really a doubt once they accumulated 4 points in their first 2 games. With a promising set of players who ply their trade at some of the top clubs in Europe, an exit in the round of 16 might be underwhelming for the Poles.
Let’s look at 5 players who will influence the outcome of the first round of 16 match of Euro 2016:
1) Robert Lewandowski
When a player scores 5 goals in 9 minutes, he is earmarked for something special. Lewandowski’s feat in the recently concluded Bundesliga season has ensured his name shall be writ in the annals of goal-scoring feats in bold.
The Polish forward was also top scorer in Euro 2016 qualifying, bagging 13 goals as Poland qualified with the highest number of goals scored with 33. However, cometh the hour, and the man certainly has not arrived, yet.
Robert Lewandowski has turned up at Euro 2016, a shadow of the man who was terrorising defences across Europe a few months back. Poland will desperately hope the Bayern Munich forward can turn a corner in the knockout stages.
While the talismanic striker has looked out of sorts that will not be of much solace for the Swiss, as they know, on his day Lewandowski has no equal in Europe when it comes to movement, positioning and finishing in and around the opposition's penalty area.