The top scorers in qualifying, Poland will look to get off to a positive start in UEFA EURO 2016 Group C against finals debutants Northern Ireland.
• Poland have had marginally the worse of the sides’ nine meetings: W3 D2 L4. In competitive games, Northern Ireland’s record against Poland is W3 D1 L2.
• The nations have not met in the UEFA European Championship since 1962, when Northern Ireland won two qualifiers against Poland in the space of seven weeks – 2-0 in Chorzow and 2-0 again in Belfast.
• It took Poland 42 years to exact their competitive revenge, triumphing in both 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, after which they progressed as section runners-up behind England. Maciej Żurawski scored in both games as Poland prevailed 3-0 in Belfast and 1-0 in Warsaw.
• Northern Ireland were back in charge for the 2010 World Cup qualifiers, winning 3-2 at home and drawing 1-1 away, Kyle Lafferty opening the scoring in Chorzow. Neither team made it to the finals in South Africa.
EURO facts – Poland
• Poland are appearing at their third successive EURO final tournament, but have yet to make it through the group stage – or win a game: W0 D3 L3.
• Poland’s greatest success on the international stage to date is winning bronze medals at the 1974 and 1982 World Cup finals.
• Poland’s Robert Lewandowski was the top scorer in qualifying with 13 goals, matching a competition record set by Northern Ireland’s David Healy in UEFA EURO 2008 qualifying.
• Poland scored 33 goals in qualifying – two more than their nearest rivals, England.
• Adam Nawałka’s side kick off Group C unbeaten in three competitive matches (W2 D1).
• Poland midfielder Sebastian Mila celebrates his 34th birthday on 10 July – the day of the UEFA EURO 2016 final.
EURO facts – Northern Ireland
• Northern Ireland are featuring at their first EURO. They have not played at a major final tournament since bowing out of the 1986 World Cup at the group stage.
• Northern Ireland’s greatest achievement to date is reaching the last eight of the 1958 World Cup finals, losing 4-0 to France in Norrkoping, Sweden.
• Michael O’Neill’s charges’ record in qualifying was W6 D3 L1 – they come to the finals unbeaten in six competitive fixtures (W3 D3).
• Northern Ireland played twice in Nice in the 1951 FIFA Youth Tournament Under-18, losing 2-1 to Yugoslavia and 1-0 to Belgium.
Coach and player links
• Have played together:
Artur Boruc (Poland) and Niall McGinn (Northern Ireland) – Celtic, 2009–10
Artur Boruc (Poland) and Paddy McCourt (Northern Ireland) – Celtic, 2008–10
Artur Boruc (Poland) and Steven Davis (Northern Ireland) – Southampton, 2012–14
• The game is taking place on Poland forward Artur Sobiech’s 26th birthday, and the day after defender Tomasz Kędziora turns 22.
• Northern Ireland defender Jonny Evans scored his first international goal in the 3-2 victory against Poland in Belfast in March 2009.
•The four encounters between the nations’ clubs in UEFA competition have ended in three Polish wins and a draw. Most recently, Wisła Kraków beat Glentoran 6-0 on aggregate in 2002/03 UEFA Cup qualifying.
FIFA World Cup
|05/09/09||QR (GS)||Poland – Northern Ireland||1-1||Chorzow||Lewandowski 80; K. Lafferty 38|
|28/03/09||QR (GS)||Northern Ireland – Poland||3-2
||Belfast||Feeney 10, J. Evans 47; Jeleń 27, Żewłakow 62 (og), Saganowski 90+1|
FIFA World Cup
|30/03/05||QR (GS)||Poland – Northern Ireland||1-0
|04/09/04||QR (GS)||Northern Ireland – Poland||0-3
||Belfast||Żurawski 4, Włodarczyk 37, Krzynówek 57|
1964 UEFA European Championship
|28/11/62||PR||Northern Ireland – Poland||2-0
|Belfast||Crossan 8, Bingham 63|
|10/10/62||PR||Poland – Northern Ireland||0-2
||Chorzow||Dougan 17, Humphries 54|