Jun 16, 2016

    Lewandowski red alert for Germany


    OLD rivalries and fresh memories face Germany when they return to the Stade de France in Paris to face familiar foes Poland in a crucial Euro 2016 clash just seven months after being caught up in last November's terror attacks in Paris.

    Die Mannschaft were forced to spend a traumatic night in the dressing rooms at France's national stadium when a series of jihadist attacks across Paris left 130 dead on a night they faced the French in a friendly.

    German defender Jerome Boateng, who was in the world champions' team that night, caused a stir when he announced his wife and five-year-old twins would not be travelling to France to watch him play because he believed "the risk is simply too big".

    Of more immediate concern to Joachim Loew's men, however, will be the sight of Boateng's Bayern team-mate Robert Lewandowski in a Poland side high in confidence after winning their first-ever game at a European Championship finals in a 1-0 result over Northern Ireland on Sunday.

    Lewandowski scored 42 goals as Bayern romped to a fourth consecutive Bundesliga title this season.

    The former Borussia Dortmund forward also top-scored in Euro 2016 qualifying with 13 goals and played a vital role as Poland beat Germany for the first and only time 2-0 in November 2014 in Warsaw on their road to France.

    Germany have a stunning record against their neighbours, winning 13 of their 20 previous meetings, and bouncing back from defeat in Warsaw to win their last clash 3-1 in September.

    The four-time world champions won the only previous European Championship finals match between the two sides 2-0 in 2008 when Polish-born Lukas Podolski scored twice.

    Podolski could face the country of his birth for a sixth time on his 128th cap but is hoping that both sides make it into the last 16.

    "Personally, I hope we win the group and Poland finish second," he said.