France vs Poland predictions: Mbappe to put the boot into Poland
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Enda McElhinney
Spotlight
Didier Deschamps has France in the running to win back-to-back World Cups
Didier Deschamps has France in the running to win back-to-back World Cups

- Kylian Mbappe has had nine more shots (16) and five more shots on target (7) than any France player in the World Cup.
- Poland failed to score in two of three games in the group stage
- Recommended bet: France to win in 90 minutes and Kylian Mbappe to score

World champions France come into this last-16 showdown with Poland on the back of a surprise loss to Tunisia in their final group game.

Didier Deschamps shuffled his pack for that clash with the Eagles of Carthage — resting Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Oliver Giroud from his attack — and that ensures his Les Bleus attacking unit will be fresh and hungry for this tussle with Poland in the Al Thumama Stadium, Doha on Sunday afternoon.

Poland, by contrast, had a bit of a bareknuckle ride in squeezing out of Group C as runners-up behind Argentina. 

They only scored in one of their three group stage games and they look under-resourced to prevent the French marching onwards to the quarter-finals.

With Mbappe eager for the Golden Boot in Qatar, it could be a really difficult assignment for the Poles, who appear to have got the maximum from their journey to the Middle East just by getting this far.

Team News

Poland will be banking on Robert Lewandowski to deliver in front of goal
Poland will be banking on Robert Lewandowski to deliver in front of goal

Deschamps took his opportunity to rotate for the game with Tunisia as nine of the team that had started the win over Denmark dropped out of the initial XI chosen for the game against a hungry and determined opponent.

Only Raphael Varane and Aurelien Tchouameni retained their places — leaving the 22-year-old Real Madrid holding midfielder as the only Frenchman to start all three games in Qatar.

France have not revealed any injury concerns coming into this game, so Mbappe, Griezmann, Giroud and Ousmane Dembele are all presumed ready to return, while Hugo Lloris will be between the posts and Varane should have Jules Kounde, Theo Hernandez and Dayot Upamecano back amongst the back four.

Poland of course had no such luxury in terms of squad rotation. 

Boss Czeslaw Michniewicz will have been pleased with two clean sheets from three group games and he will need another massive showing from Wojciech Szczesny in goal if his side is going to frustrate France.

At the other end, the world-class Robert Lewandowski ensures that writing the Poles off would be a step too far.

The Barcelona frontman was peripheral against Argentina, however, as his side failed to muster a single shot on target as they adopted a standoff approach. 

Like France, there are no apparent injury worries for Poland but, unlike their opponents, they cannot retrieve an array of well rested aces now.

The stats

This will be the third time that Poland have faced the reigning champions in a World Cup tournament. 

They are unbeaten in the previous two, including defeating Brazil in a third-place play-off in Munich in 1974.

For France, meanwhile, this will be their first knockout stage game at the World Cup as defending champions after they became the first reigning champions since Brazil (2006) to avoid going out in the group stage.

France have played in the last-16 knockout stage five times since it was introduced in 1986 and have progressed on each occasion. 

Poland, by contrast, are playing their first match in the knockout stages of a World Cup tournament since 1986.

France are unbeaten in their last seven meetings with Poland across all competitions (W3, D4) dating back to 1982, and they have kept a clean sheet in the last three meetings — with under 2.5 goals scored in those same three games.

Prediction

France appear to have cruised through to this stage whilst drawing the minimum attention to their quest for successive World Cup wins. 

They fell behind in the opener against Australia but banged in four in response, while that last-time-out defeat to Tunisia deflected the spotlight nicely.

Mbappe has scored three goals — and might have had more even allowing for not starting against Tunisia. 

He finished two shy of Harry Kane in Russia four years ago and is firmly in the hunt for Golden Boot honours this time. 

He can add to his tally in what should be a safe passage for France.

Poland's presence here owes more to the wastefulness of Argentina and Mexico's lack of killer instinct against Saudi Arabia in midweek, as goal-difference alone propelled them through.

They have been conservative by nature and, with France back on full power, sitting back against the likes of Mbappe may prove futile.

France to win in 90 minutes and Kylian Mbappe to score anytime is evens with LiveScore Bet

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World CupFrancePolandKylian Mbappe Lottin
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