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[ 2024 European Cup Poland ] Surrounded by strong opponents, how will the team break free from the group stage?

The Polish team has a century-old history and enjoyed glory from the mid-1970s to the early 1980s. In the 1974 World Cup, they finished third, and in 1982, they achieved the same result.    However, after this period of success, Poland experienced decline.    It was not until the 2002 World Cup that they returned to the international stage. In 2008, Poland reached the European Cup finals for the first time in history.

In the final group stage of this European Championship, Poland was in Group D with France, the Netherlands, and Austria and faced strong opponents.    In the FIFA world rankings, Poland ranks 28th, France ranks 2nd, the Netherlands ranks 7th, and Austria ranks 25th.    France, the Netherlands and Austria are all ranked higher than Poland, with France and the Netherlands both in the top ten and the favorites to win this European Championship.

In terms of playing style, Poland is very different from France, the Netherlands and Austria.    Poland is a typical Eastern European team.  Players generally have excellent physical fitness, exquisite skills, and quite aggressive playing styles.

However, in recent tournaments, although Poland has been a frequent visitor to international events, it has struggled to exert an influence in the main matches.    Their form has fluctuated greatly, and they often suffered unexpected defeats in the qualifying rounds, such as a 2-3 loss to Moldova.    In addition, there is room for improvement in the team's tactics and system under Prosinski's relatively new management.    However, the time given to Prosinski to develop his team is obviously limited.

In the European Championship qualifiers, Poland only achieved 2 wins and 3 losses in the first five rounds, and its prospects for qualifying are in jeopardy. On September 11, 2023, the Polish Football Association fired Portuguese coach Santos after losing 0-2 to Albania in the qualifiers and announced that local coach Prosinski would take over as the head coach of the Polish team.    After taking over the Polish team, Prosinski made major changes to the team's tactics, quickly improving the team's competitiveness.    Not only did they secure a spot in the European Championship play-offs, they also advanced from the play-offs.

Under Santos, the Polish team tends to adopt a 4-4-1-1 formation, with Lewandowski as the lone striker.    However, after Prosinski took over, he changed the formation to 3-5-2.    In the five official games coached by Prosinski, the lineup has been very stable.    Szczesny served as the starting goalkeeper, with Krechowiak, Davidovic and Bednarek forming the three central defenders.    Zalewski and Frankowski serve as left and right wing-backs, while the midfielder consists of Zielinski, Slitz and Piotrowski.    The two forwards are Lewandowski and Swiderski.    In Prosinski's tactical system, Lewandowski, who currently plays for Barcelona in La Liga, is the star player of the Polish team.    From the 2015-16 season to the 2021-22 season, Lewandowski scored more than 40 goals every season and has always been one of the most dominant forwards in world football.    However, since joining Barcelona last season, Lewandowski's scoring efficiency has declined significantly. He only scored 33 goals for Barcelona last season.    As of this season, Lewandowski has yet to reach 30 goals in a single season.    In the qualifying rounds of this European Championship, Lewandowski only scored 3 goals, and his scoring efficiency was not ideal.    As the European Championship kicks off, whether Lewandowski can return to form in time will directly affect whether Poland can advance to the group stage.

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9 Sacramento Kings
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