Soccer

World Cup Qualifiers: Robert Lewandowski to miss Poland's clash against England due to knee injury

Robert Lewandowski will miss Poland’s World Cup Qualifier against England on Wednesday due to a knee injury.

A statement from the Polish FA on Monday morning said Lewandowski, who captains the national side, had sustained ligament damage in his right knee and would be out for up to 10 days.

The 32-year-old striker, who has 42 goals in just 36 games for Bayern Munich in all competitions this season, has now returned to the German side.

  • Harry Kane helps England to scrappy win in Albania
  • Mason Mount shows his growing value to England
  • Gareth Southgate satisfied but calls for Poland improvement

Lewandowski was injured in Poland’s 3-0 World Cup Qualifying win over Andorra on Sunday, scoring twice before being substituted.

The Polish FA statement read: “Clinical and imaging studies have shown damage to the collateral ligament of the right knee.

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“The short time remaining until the next match of the national team excludes the participation of the national team captain in this match. This would carry too much risk of aggravating the injury. This decision is the only right one, bearing in mind the upcoming Euro 2020 tournament.

“Treatment of this type of injury usually lasts from five to 10 days. Therefore, Robert Lewandowski will return to the club, where he will undergo further rehabilitation.”

Lewandowski is currently first in the race for the European Golden Boot, awarded to the most prolific striker across all of the continent’s leagues at the end of each season.

He has 35 goals in only 25 Bundesliga games, and is 12 goals ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo, who is second on the leaderboard.

England currently lead World Cup Qualifying Group I as the only side to have won their first two matches, with Poland tied for second on four points with Hungary.

England thrashed San Marino 5-0 in their opening game on Thursday before easing to a 2-0 win in Albania on Sunday, while Poland drew 3-3 away to Hungary in their first Group I game, before winning at home to minnows Andorra.

Southgate satisfied but calls for Poland improvement

Gareth Southgate kept his cards close to his chest when asked how he would address the shortcomings on display in England’s win in Albania in time for their next World Cup Qualifier with Poland.

Fresh from Thursday’s 5-0 triumph against minnows San Marino at Wembley, England travelled to Tirana looking to avoid a qualification hiccup and struggled on the stodgy Air Albania Stadium surface for much of the opening period.

Kane expertly headed in his first international goal in exactly 500 days to get England up and running, and after he and Phil Foden had been denied by the frame of the Albania goal, Mount wrapped up the win when he clinically punished a defensive error.

“For the first 25 minutes or so we just struggled to find space in behind their midfield,” Southgate added. “The space was there; we could get the connections to the players.

“We just tweaked a little bit the way we were building up and then we had a little bit more joy, certainly down the left side with Luke [Shaw], Raheem [Sterling] and Mason connecting to begin with.

“Then gradually that happened on the right as well, so I think we were pleased with that. I didn’t particularly like the way we managed the last 15 minutes.

“I just thought there were some decisions we made that needed to be better in order to either score more or not invite pressure. I thought we could have kept the ball a bit better in those periods. But, look, it’s a good win and we move on in healthy condition to Wednesday.”

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