Tytoń - Piszczek, Wasilewski, Perquis, Boenisch - Dudka, Polanski, Murawski - Błaszczykowski, Obraniak - Lewandowski
So, it is confirmed. As it was written and suggested in previous post, Smuda will go with three central midfielders, a bit more defensive approach, the one inviting Russians to counter them whenever possible. It will, obviously, put more pressure on those capable of playing ball quicker, attacking with pace and delivering the right passes from the wings to the one that should finish Russians off. Poland's main attacking threat for Tuesday's Group A tie will be Błaszczykowski and Piszczek.
We could, of course, consider Obraniak as the one who will also provide the treat but it will be of a different type to the mentioned ones. He is not the type of player who runs with the ball at rivals, his movement is rather more complicated than the straight lines Kuba and Piszczek are creating on the right wing with their combinations. Obraniak is also the one who should be doing more runs from the second line, allowing the other option in the box, whenever Lewandowski is unavailable.
Yet the right side of Poland will be a threat only for a short period of time during the game, as it was against Greece, when even with one-man advantage, Piszczek and Błaszczykowski both faded away. A lot depend from how it will be used this time, and how Smuda's side adopts when they will have to search for other options.
Rafał Murawski may be the one. He is not expected to provide goals or decisive passes - after all, he is the only one playing in Ekstraklasa, and throughout last season he had 2 goals and 3 assists to his name - but to move the ball around whenever there is a need for it. Given that Polanski often plays simple passes to the full-backs and Dudka is of similar type, though also capable of sending pin-point long ball, their task should be to create space for Murawski and give him the ball in the right time.
The trio will have mostly defensive goals set for the game, yet Murawski is expected to be allowed to join the attacks whenever there is a chance. Of course, the formation will be more 4-3-2-1 than 4-3-3 against Russian 4-3-3 - which should also mean that Błaszczykowski and mostly Obraniak will play closer to Murawski. Smuda, despite the negative opinion of team leaders about such set up, will hope to put the game more into the hands of those who connect well at club level. Borussia's trio and those that can cope in similar circumstances - Obraniak and Murawski.
These were the good sides, yet there are also the bad ones - whenever attacking with five or six players, Poland will be left with similar number ones, yet not even one fast player. Boenisch was exposed against Greece, Polanski and Dudka are more static in the middle, Perquis and Wasilewski are the best against team playing much more directly than Russia. Kerzhakov's movement may cause them a lot of problems and this is not even starting about much better performance from their opening win against Czech Republic - Dzagoev and Arshavin...