By Aidan Slinn (Germany) & Liz Manning (Poland)

Germany (Aidan Slinn)

Last match recap

Germany will be happy that they got themselves off to winning start on Sunday. They will also be happy to have a clean sheet under their belt. The result is a little bit misleading however. Ukraine asked plenty of questions of the World Champions, they also came within inches of scoring, Jerome Boateng was on hand with a goal line clearance and Manuel Neuer showed the form of the best goalkeeper in the world to deny Ukraine with some excellent saves.

Kroos was Germany's stand out performer in their win against Ukraine

Kroos was Germany’s stand out performer in their win against Ukraine

The stand out performer for the Germans was Toni Kroos who showed an impressive range of passing and provided an excellent delivery for Shkodran Mustafi to head home the opener. As time went on the game, the spirited Ukrainians tired and Bastian Schweinsteiger came on and wrapped up the win with a late goal.

Germany certainly showed some defensive vulnerability and will certainly be hoping for Mats Hummels to return from injury to help sure things up at the back. I would certainly expect Joachim Low to make changes ahead of this one. Mario Goetze was ineffective in the false nine role, Mario Gomez may be the preferred option. I think Andre Schurrle made a good case for himself with limited minutes towards the end of the game also.

My personal highlight of the game was Serhiy Sydorchuk running around nutmegging every German player in his path.

How I will watch it

Almost certainly at home, which I realise is a little boring- I considered fabricating a more interesting evening for the article’s sake but my conscience wouldn’t allow it. Thursday is regularly a work drinks night, but I’m away on best man duty at a wedding this weekend. A night of trying on my suit and adding my final touches to my speech is on the cards as I watch my adopted side take on their rivals. Maybe a few cheeky beers, who knows? It is ‘Thirsty Thursday’ afterall.

Prediction: Germany 2 – 1 Poland

Germany are in for a real test against their rivals Poland, who beat them 2-0 in the qualifying stages for this competition.

The main threat to them is Robert Lewandowski, who has been free scoring for Bayern Munich this season in the Bundesliga. Will his experience in Germany give him the cutting edge in this tie?

I think Germany will edge this one. New Bayern recruit Hummels’ return could help organise their defence which looked out of sorts against Ukraine.

Poland (Liz Manning)

Last match recap

Poland are off to a good start, beating Northern Ireland 1-0 last Sunday. Poland arguably dominated the game with 65% possession, and Arkadiusz Milik brought the team to victory with the only goal in the game, early in the second half. After the first round, Poland and Germany top Group C with 3 points each.

How I will watch it

I’ll watch the first half at the Red Lion pub in Barnes, but I’ve had some cinema tickets booked to see The Nice Guys for a couple of weeks now so I’m afraid I’ll be missing the rest of the match. Perhaps I’ll have a cheeky loo break to check the scores, but that’s the best I can do!

Prediction: Germany 2 – 1 Poland

This match is an exciting one. Germany are a team of world class players, won the 2014 World Cup and are contenders to win this tournament, but Poland are being billed as a dark horse for the tournament. The two countries have a rivalry dating back to WWII which has continued into football as Germany continually steal the best young Polish players such as Miroslav Klose, who was born in Poland but played for Germany and is their all time top goal scorer. That’s got to sting a little. Another Polish born Germany player is Lukas Podolski, who is Germany’s third top goal scorer. Whilst Klose is retired, Podolski is still in the German squad.

Lewandowski (The Master) and Milik (The Apprentice) are a force to be reckoned with for Poland

Lewandowski (The Master) and Milik (The Apprentice) are a force to be reckoned with for Poland

Poland have some very strong forwards in Robert Lewandowski and Arkadiusz Milik and I believe (and hope) that they score a goal, but they might not be enough to carry their team to victory this time.

A huge thank you to my friend Tomasz, who grew up in Poland and gave me all the information I needed to make my prediction!