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Thursday 8 December 2016

Poland want to have qualification sewn up before Ireland come to Warsaw

While recent injury concern Robert Lewandowski eased fears about his fitness by coming off the bench to score a stunning five goals in nine minutes for Bayern Munich in a league game against Wolfsburg last night
While recent injury concern Robert Lewandowski eased fears about his fitness by coming off the bench to score a stunning five goals in nine minutes for Bayern Munich in a league game against Wolfsburg last night

POLAND are determined to have Euro 2016 qualification sewn up before Martin O'Neill's side arrive in Warsaw for next Sunday's Group D finale.

Apart from Germany, who only need a point in Dublin on Thursday to secure automatic qualification, the other sides in this group who are in contention for France 2016 have entered this week of international fixtures with a mixture of confidence and concern.

A win for Poland away to Scotland on Thursday would, assuming that Germany have not lost in Dublin, send the Poles to France, end Scottish interest and put Ireland into the playoffs.

A Scotland home win over Poland would leave everyone - bar Germany - heading into Sunday's games feeling nervy.

And a draw in Glasgow could see Ireland sneak automatic qualification by beating the Poles in Warsaw. And as a backdrop to all of this, Ireland know they can qualify automatically or reach the playoffs even if they lose at home to Germany.

So for Poland, the approach is to head to Hampden Park with nothing less than a win as their aim.

"We're feeling positive heading to Scotland because we know we can secure qualification there," says Ajax forward Arkadiusz Milik (left). "We know we will have a tough game in Glasgow but we are going there for a win.

"We have shown in these qualifying games that we can win. But I have to stress that we have achieved nothing yet, the next two games will be decisive."

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