Poland are the ones to watch at next summer's European Championships.

Hear me out on this one.

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OK - they're ranked 19th in the world. They've only been in three European Championships previously - the three most recent ones - and they've never got further than the quarter-finals.

But it wasn't so long ago they were ranked as high as fifth (less than three years ago, in fact).

And do not underestimate the power of having a world-beating player like Robert Lewandowski captaining the side. As Ben Snowball argued recently when putting the case for him to win this year's Ballon d'Or, Lewandowski could be the greatest striker of his generation, and has been enjoying the best form of his career. When the season went on hiatus, he was the top scorer in the Bundesliga and in the Champions League.

Admittedly it's difficult to put too much weight on current form when it isn't clear how long football will be absent - but anyone playing in Germany will surely have a little advantage on those who do not bearing in mind matters there seem to be getting back to normal quicker than anywhere else in Europe at the time of writing.

Arkadiusz Milik in action for Poland against Macedonia in their Euro 2020 qualifier

Image credit: Getty Images

That's not to say that one player makes a team, of course - and they've got a decent squad at their disposal, including Arkadiusz Milik of Napoli and the veteran midfielder Jakub Błaszczykowski as well as young talent just breaking through such as Dynamo Moscow's Sebastian Szymanski.

Since his appointment in 2018, taking over after a dismal World Cup where they finished bottom of their group, coach Jerzy Brzeczeck has had a rather tumultuous time of it in the hotseat. His side had a terrible run in the Nations League, finishing bottom of their group with no wins to their name, as well as a couple of rather embarrassing results during Euro 2020 qualifying - losing to Slovenia 2-0 and mustering only a goalless draw against Austria at home.

He was under pressure, but withstood it - and Poland were resurgent, winning their next four matches and securing their spot at the tournament, scoring 10 goals and conceding three. He currently has a record of eight wins and four draws in his 16 matches in charge of the team - not the most blistering of statistics, I'll grant you, but decent enough.

More importantly, he and the team have shown they can withstand pressure - crucial for tournament football.

Maybe they won't lift the trophy, but don't count them out of going further into a Euros then they've ever managed before.

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