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Poland say Lewandowski will send a message to world football tomorrow night

Bayern Munich striker has 14 goals in his last five games — and Poland say he’s not finished yet.

Lewandowski and O'Shea will go head-to-head again tomorrow night.
Lewandowski and O'Shea will go head-to-head again tomorrow night.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Niall Kelly reports from Stadion Narodowy, Warsaw

ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI IS the best finisher in the world right now — and tomorrow night he will prove it.

That’s the verdict from the bullish Polish camp ahead of Ireland’s make-or-break Euro 2016 qualifier in Warsaw.

A win would see Ireland qualify automatically for France, as would a 2-2 draw or higher, but they find themselves faced with football’s most dangerous man.

The lethal Lewandowski has fired in 14 goals in his last five games, including a crucial double to snatch a point against Scotland on Thursday night.

“For the time being, Robert Lewandowksi is the best number nine in the world,” coach Adam Nawalka said.

Veteran defender Jakub Wawrzyniak put Ireland on red alert and promised: “If anyone has doubts, we believe that tomorrow he will confirm exactly that.”

Lewandowksi tops the charts with 12 goals so far in qualifying, and the big Bayern Munich striker has now hit an unprecedented vein of form for club and country, including a ridiculous five goals in nine minutes against Wolfsburg last month.

Nawalka added: “He’s developing all the time, he continually makes progress, and I do not believe that there is anyone who can stop him.”

Lewandowski will have to shoulder even more responsibility than usual against Ireland after it was confirmed that dangerman Arkadiusz Milik will miss the final Group D match through injury.

The Ajax youngster, 21, has bagged six goals as well as six assists in this campaign but is ruled out with a hip injury, while Maciej Rybus and Tomasz Jodlowiec are also sidelined.

Nawalka said: “Arek (Milik) did really great. He is a phenomenal player.

“But injuries are a part of the game, and we all know that, which is why we have to react correctly to this situation.

“I believe our players will do everything they can to give their best tomorrow, which is why I have chosen the exceptional players for tomorrow’s game.

“The team is ready and tomorrow we will meet your expectations.”

The onus is on Hannover’s Artur Sobiech, Milik’s likely replacement, to step up and fill the gap.

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“I’m not nervous because I will handle my responsibilities,” Sobiech said.

“I know what is at stake and I’m pretty sure I will give 100% and do everything I can in order to meet your expectations.”

Nawalka admitted that Ireland’s win over Germany came as a shock.

“I have to say the result was a big surprise for us. Both teams represent a very high level of football, and in this group being a very difficult one, every result is possible.

“The German team had more possession and more situations but at the end of the day, it all comes down to goals scored, and in this aspect the Irish team was better.

“We know that tomorrow’s game will be difficult but we are prepared for that and we will do our job.”

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Niall Kelly

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