Group A
Poland v Ecuador
Kick-off 20:00 (BST)

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Both Poland and Ecuador will be looking to open their World Cup campaigns with a victory in what may well be a key encounter in Group A.

Hosts Germany are the clear favourites to progress from the group and most observers expect Poland and Ecuador to be contesting the runners-up spot.

Poland coach Pawel Janas has no major injury concerns after captain Jacek Bak and winger Jacek Krzynowek returned to training following minor knocks.

Bak and Krzynowek will be joined in the starting line-up by Celtic duo Artur Boruc and Maciej Zurawski.

Boruc is expected to play instead of West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak after the latter’s mistake in the friendly defeat to Colombia.

Zurawski will play alone up front but he will be supported by an energetic five-man midfield.

Poland will be looking to erase the memories of four years ago where they traveled with hope to the far east but finished bottom of their group.

“Four years ago we didn’t get out of group play, and that was a disappointment. Now we want to do everything to get out of the group phase, and then every additional match is going to be a bonus,” Polish defender and team captain Jacek Bak said.

“I’m convinced that if we get out of the group we’ll spread our wings and are capable of a big surprise.”

Former Southampton striker Agustin Delgado is Ecuador coach Luis Fernando Suarez’s biggest worry.

Fellow forward Carlos Tenorio is expected to be fit and he may be partnered by former Ivan Kaviedes in attack should Delgado fail a fitness test.

Goalkeeper Cristian Mora is the only confirmed starter but Aston Villa’s Ulises de la Cruz is expected to play alongside veteran Ivan Hurtado, Geovanny Espinosa and Neicer Reasco in defence.

“As a minimum we have to get to the second round. After that, a ton of other goals will open up,” Ecuador coach Luis Suarez said. “This is what we want the people to understand.”

Poland and Ecuador have met once before. On 13 November 2005, Poland beat Ecuador 3-0 in a friendly game. Tomasz Klos, Ebi Smolarek and Sebastian Mila were all on the scoresheet.

Probable teams:
Poland: Boruc, Bak, Jop, Zewlakow, Baszczynski, Krzynowek, Radomski, Szymkowiak, Sobolewski, Smolarek, Zurawski.

Ecuador: Mora, De la Cruz, Hurtado, Espinoza, Reasco, Mendez, Tenorio, Castillo, Valencia, Delgado, Tenorio/Kaviedes.

Referee: Kamikawa Toru (Japan)

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