Euro 2024: Poland missing Lewandowski against Netherlands in opening game of Group D

HAMBURG, Germany (AP) — Poland will be without injured captain Robert Lewandowski when it faces the Netherlands on Sunday in the first game of Group D at the European Championship. Also in the group are France and Austria. Kickoff in Hamburg is at 3 p.m. local time (1300 GMT). Here’s what to know about the match.

Match facts

— Poland was the last of the 24 teams confirmed in the Euro 2024 lineup, winning a playoff bracket final in March against Wales in a penalty shootout after a 0-0 draw. Lewandowski’s spot-kick to start the shootout was Poland’s first shot on target that evening in Cardiff.

— The Netherlands advanced from a qualifying group with France, losing home and away to the 2022 World Cup runner-up but winning its six other games against Greece, Ireland and Gibraltar.

— The Dutch swept to 4-0 victories in warm-up games against Canada and Iceland. Seven of those eight goals came in second-half play.

— The Poles and Dutch are in action more than a full day before their group opponents France and Austria start Monday evening. That gets them a full extra day of rest before the second round of games Friday.

Team news

— Lewandowski injured a thigh muscle Monday in a warm-up game against Turkey. The Barcelona forward should return to action during the group stage.

— Gone for the tournament is Poland’s other veteran forward Arkadiusz Milik of Juventus. He had knee surgery on an injury suffered in the previous warm-up against Ukraine.

— Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman lost an entire midfield in recent weeks because of injuries: Frenkie de Jong of Barcelona and Atalanta pair Teun Koopmeiners and Marten de Roon all miss Euro 2024.

— Koeman called up wing-back Ian Maatsen and forward Joshua Zirkzee from their vacations.

By the numbers

— The Netherlands won its only European title when West Germany hosted in 1988. In Hamburg 36 years ago, the Dutch beat the hosts 2-1 in the semifinal played at Volksparkstadion. Current coach Ronald Koeman scored a penalty to level the game.

— The teams have never met before at a major tournament though this is their 20th game overall since the first one 56 years ago. Poland last beat the Netherlands in 1979.

— Poland’s record win at a Euros tournament is… 1-0. Playing in four straight editions starting in 2008, Poland got single-goal wins in the Euro 2016 group stage against Northern Ireland and Ukraine.

— The Netherlands has the tournament record win, 6-1 against FR Yugoslavia — then just the republics of Serbia and Montenegro — in the quarterfinals of Euro 2000 it co-hosted with Belgium.

What they’re saying

— “There has been progress in Robert Lewandowski’s recovery, so we hope he will come back for the game against Austria,” Poland coach Michał Probierz


AP Euro 2024:

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