Poland are sweating on the fitness of veteran centre-back Kamil Glik ahead of their World Cup opener against Senegal Tuesday, with the West Africans vowing to exploit “defensive weakness” in the Group H clash.
Glik, a bulwark at the back for Adam Nawalka’s team, has been under an injury cloud since hurting his shoulder earlier this month.
There have been conflicting reports emanating from the Poland camp about his availability and Nawalka could offer no certainty Monday when quizzed about the Monaco defender.
“We’re not sure if Kamil is going to play in the first match, I can only tell you he’s going to train and we’ll see how he feels,” he told reporters.
“But he’s a very tough guy and he’ll do everything to recuperate from his injury.”
Senegal coach Aliou Cisse was practically licking his lips at the prospect of his Sadio Mane-led attack taking on the Poles without Glik.
“We all know Poland have some very good individual qualities but also some defensive weaknesses,” he said.
“I think it’s going to be a very nice game. We have lots of assets.”
Cisse said Liverpool’s Mane, fresh from scoring 10 goals in the Champions League, was already among the elite strikers at football’s showpiece in Russia.
“He’s absolutely unique because he’s unpredictable, so nobody is able to mark him or stop him,” he said.
“He’s really great. At any point he can make the difference with a dribble or a pass. For me, he’s already among the best players in the world.”
Glik aside, Nawalka said everything was going to plan for Poland, ranked eighth in the world to Senegal’s 27.
“We have prepared in an optimal way to play the first game,” he said.
“We respect our opponent and we’re prepared for a very difficult match but we believe we will come out victorious and that we will play better.”
Nawalka talked up his own hitman Robert Lewandowski, who was top scorer in the Bundesliga for the third time this season and set a record during World Cup qualifying.
“The scale of his talent is immense, supported by a lot of hard work,” he said.
“He’s very professional and his form and physical efficiency are second to none. He’s one of the best players in the world.”
Kick-off at Moscow’s Spartak Stadium is 6:00pm (1500 GMT).