Poland vs Sweden Preview: Will Poland break Sweden Jinx to make it to Qatar?
The evening of Tuesday (March 29) will probably go down as a colossal battle between hosts Poland and Sweden as the two teams try to make back-to-back World Cup finals.
Poland who were given a bye after Russia's suspension by FIFA will face Sweden who overcame the Czech Republic in a tense battle on Thursday evening.
Polan vs Sweden: Head to Head
The two teams have met on 27 occasions, but only eight of those have been competitive fixtures.
Sweden lead the way with 15 wins compared to Poland's eight, while on four occasions the affair has ended in a stalemate.
More than three decades since Poland last won against Sweden
While Poland will have the home advantage on their side, they won't have the recent history on their side.
The team led by Bayern forward, Robert Lewandowski, hasn't won a fixture against Sweden since August 1991, when Miroslaw Trzeciak and Wojciech Kowalczyk were on the scoring charts in a 2-0 win.
Indeed Poland haven't beaten Sweden in a competitive game since the 1974 World Cup. So it will take something incredible for the Polish army to get the better of the 1958 World Cup runners-up.
Players to Watch Out For: Zlatan vs Lewandowski
While Zlatan Ibrahimovic will don the colours of Sweden, his opposite number Robert Lewandowski has been one of the best players in the world for some time.
The Bayern Munich striker has 43 goals in Bundesliga and Champions League combined and recently scored a hat-trick in the Champions League. Adding to that, he has eight goals in the qualifiers which has raised eyebrows on multiple fronts.
Zlatan on the flip side has eight goals and two assists to his name in the Serie A for AC Milan and will return back to the team after serving a suspension. He sat out in the 1-0 win against the Czech Republic which lasted for 120 minutes.
He will be supported by the man in form, Dejan Kulusevski, who has been instrumental for both Sweden and Tottenham Hotspur, having made some vital contributions for Spurs at the club level.
Journey so far
Sweden finished runners-up to Spain in group B on 15 points. They caused a major upset in the 2017 World Cup qualifiers as they eliminated Italy in the play-offs and this is the third straight time they enter the play-off rounds.
Poland finished runners-up to England in group I and will be hoping for a positive outcome to make back-to-back World Cups. Their best finish in a World Cup final tournament came in 1974 and 1982, where they finished third.