A look at Poland's Euro 2020 opponents
Photo: Janek Skarzynski/Getty Images

Poland are gearing up for Euro 2020 and with Bialo-czerwoni on the eve of beginning their participation in Europe's most prestigious competition, VAVEL takes a look at their three opponents in Group E.

Slovakia

Playing in just their third-ever international competition since becoming an independent nation in 1993, the Falcons are the clear underdog of the group, but coach Stefan Tarkovic has molded the team in his style, a 4-2-3-1 system that relies on fast wingers and creative midfielders.

The unquestionable star of the team is Marek Hamsik. Handed the captaincy at the tender age of 22, he's the creative force in Tarkovic's side. Although not as established as Hamsik, Ondrej Duda is similar in playing style while 19-year old Tomas Suslov is tipped to be the next star in the center of the park.

Embed from Getty Images

Milan Skriniar anchors the defense. The Inter Milan man was out of form last year and will be thankful for the year's delay. What is a concern for Slovakia is Skriniar's partner at the back, where no reliable option has emerged at center-back. Tomas Hubocan had to come out of retirement at one point. 

What will give the Falcons confidence is their success in the way they qualified, defeating the Republic of Ireland in the semifinals and Northern Ireland in the final. Although they caused a surprise with a win over Russia at Euro 2016, it'll an even bigger shock if they advance past the group stage.

Poland should win this game. They possess more quality than their opponents and anything less than all three points would be disappointing.

Spain

The three-time European champions are undergoing a regeneration after three consecutive major international titles between 2008 and 2012, this promises to be an interesting time for manager Luis Enrique stepped down due to the death of his daughter during qualifying, but asked to return.

Moreno still employs the famous pass and move style that won them all of those trophies, but the likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta, David Villa, Gerard Pique and Iker Casillas no longer feature for the national team. Sergio Ramos wasn't included due to the Real Madrid star lacking match fitness.

Pau Torres, Aymeric Laporte and Eric Garcia will be asked to shoulder the load at the back and they will need to be at the top of their game with young Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Unai Simon being first-time choice ahead of David De Gea. It's these circumstances that led Enrique to try out 4-1-4-1 and 4-2-3-1 formation in recent games.

Embed from Getty Images

The strikeforce is missing the likes of Fernando Torres with Gerard Moreno leading the line after netting 29 times for Villarreal last season. Thiago Alcantara could be the key to La Roja's success as his class and athletic qualities are unquestioned, but his focus is. 

This will be Poland's toughest game and if they beat Slovakia, the pressure will be off. If they don't, this game becomes all the more important.

Sweden

Blaguit are the swing team in this group as they could finish anywhere in the standings. Having finished behind Spain in their qualifying group for the competition, Sweden are already well-prepared for what's to come. 

Janne Anderson has been in charge since 2016 and has overseen qualification to the last two Euros as well as the 2018 World Cup quarterfinals. He'll be without national team legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who was injured after announcing he was returning to the side after a five-year absence from the national team.

Alexander Isak is the main threat up front as the striker has scored 54 goals in 128 appearances at club level for AIK, Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Dortmund II, Willem II and Real Sociedad. With six additional goals for the national team in 22 appearances, he'll be counted on to spearhead Sweden's attack.

Embed from Getty Images

Marcus Berg will play alongside Isak, but is more known for his running and pressing abilities rather than his goalscoring. Robin Quaison will also be in contention for a place in the starting lineup after leading Mainz with 13 goals.

Victor Lindelof and Emil Forsberg will be asked to be the leaders of the squad with the biggest question mark of the side being who partners Lindelof in the heart of defense. Although captain Andreas Granqvist was selected, he's hardly played in the last 18 months and is unlikely to feature much, if at all.

That means the task falls to Pontus Jansson, who just helped lead Brentford to promotion to the Premier League for the first time in club history or Filip Helander, coming off of an excellent season with Rangers. Marcus Danielson is also an option at Andersson's disposal.

If Poland are in need of a victory on the final day of group play, it's questionable they would get it with all of the talent that Sweden possess. Still, it would be a fun game to watch that could make or break Biało-czerwoni's competition.

VAVEL Logo