By John Fallon
Lukasz Fabianski will play his first competitive international in almost six years tomorrow after Poland manager Adam Nawalka confirmed the Swansea City goalkeeper gets the nod ahead of Artur Boruc and Wojciech Szczesny for the Euro 2016 qualifier against Ireland.
Speaking at the pre-match press conference in Dublin, Nawalka explained that the 29-year-old has sufficiently impressed during this week’s preparatory work in Warsaw to displace his former Arsenal team-mate Szczesny.
Poland received a rapturous reception from several hundred of their fans upon arrival into Dublin Airport this morning.
Perched atop of Group D, three points clear of Germany, Ireland and Scotland, confidence is high that the nation spearheaded by Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski can seal an automatic place in France next year at Ireland's expense.
In response to the suggestion earlier in the day from Ireland manager Martin O’Neill that a change to a 3-5-2 formation was under consideration, Nawalka dismissed that possibility out of hand.
“The 4-4-2 formation has served Ireland well and so I expect them to play that way tomorrow,” said the Polish coach.
“We are not fixed on them playing one formation or long balls, only that we play a fast, intensive style to try win the game.
“Psychologically, tactically and physically, we expect to deliver and increase our lead at the top of the group.”
In relation to his goalkeeping selection dilemma, Nawalka has full trust in Fabianski, despite him last featuring in a qualifier back in April 2009 against San Marino.
He said: “It was a very tough decision and I have spoken about the decision with all the players. They have respected my decision and I am confident about Fabianski.”