Poland have started their World Cup qualifying campaign solidly, while their neighbours Ukraine have stuttered. The former are still unbeaten with five points from their opening three group games, while the latter have only a picked up a couple of points so far.
That makes this meeting in Warsaw on Friday night especially important, with both teams needing a win -- not least with Montenegro, who are currently sitting top of the group with ten points from four games, having performed so excellently in their campaign so far. The situation is especially desperate for Ukraine, who almost certainly need a victory to keep their qualification hopes alive.
Poland haven't won at home in their last three attempts, while Ukraine have ended their winless run of six games home and away with a couple of consecutive victories on the road. They may well still be on a high after appointing their new coach Mykhaylo Fomenko, who oversaw a win over Norway last month in his first game in charge.
The hosts are probably the better side on paper, with Borussia Dortmund trio of right-back Łukasz Piszczek, right-winger Jakub Błaszczykowski and striker Robert Lewandowski their star names, though the latter hasn't scored for his national team since opening the scoring at Euro 2012. They're without Hoffenheim midfielder Eugen Polanski through suspension, while Southampton's Artur Boruc could get the nod in goal in the absence of any form for Arsenal's Wojciech Szczęsny.
Ukraine make the trip across the border without one of their star players too. Winger Evgen Konoplyanka, who you may remember from starring at the Euros before scoring an incredible goal against England back in October, is out injured. Nonetheless, his partner in crime Andriy Yarmolenko is expected to play, providing a headache for Piszczek on the left, with both teams likely to set up in a 4-2-3-1.
Match Date/Time: Friday 21st March 2013 8:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET
Venue: National Stadium, Warsaw, Poland
TV: TVP1, Polsat Sport (Poland) ESPN3 (U.S.)