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Thursday 8 December 2016

John O'Shea aims to stop lethal Robert Lewandowski

Robert Lewandowski celebrates with team mates after scoring the second goal for Poland
Robert Lewandowski celebrates with team mates after scoring the second goal for Poland

Keeping Robert Lewandowski away from the goal has been an impossible task for some very good teams of late.

The Poland captain has scored 14 goals in the last five games for club and country, an astonishing record which should give cause for concern for Ireland ahead of tomorrow's crucial Group D game here in the Polish capital.

John O'Shea knows what damage Lewandowski can do to Irish hopes of automatic qualification, and the Sunderland man says that stopping Lewandowski from scoring in six straight games is a burden to be shared around the Ireland dressing room, a team effort.

"In terms of dealing with Lewandowski, it won't just be me, it will be the team, as we have shown all through the campaign," said O'Shea.

"I think we have the best defensive record in this campaign but that doesn't just come from the defenders, that's the goalkeepers and the midfield unit.

"We have stuck together as a team and we will do that again on Sunday, but we will be confident of causing them problems as well, added O'Shea.

The return from injury of Marc WIlson offers Martin O'Neill options in central defence tomorrow but Derby County man Richard Keogh did himself no harm with a solid display against Thomas Muller, and having kept one Bayern Munich man scoreless on Thursday, Keogh is keen to do the same to Lewandowski tomorrow.

"There is no one in better form that Lewandowski at the moment so it's another tough game, but I do want to play against the best players in the world and if I am picked again, I hope I can do myself justice," said Keogh, a Championship defender who is unfussed about the threat from the deadliest forward in Europe right now. "If the manager keeps faith in me I won't let him down."

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